Gardens of style

Gardeners are not commonly associated with great style and you can't blame them, for who in their right mind would be overly concerned with how they look when elbow deep in well-rotted compost? Utility is king when it comes to dressing for yard work, but that doesn't mean you can't inject a bit of rugged workwear references into your look. Heavy chambray, cotton drill, and denim are all stylish fabrics that perform well under duress. And there are plenty of stylish people who have more than turned an occasional green-fingered hand to the garden. Sting, HRH Prince of Wales and Snoop Dogg, all share one thing... a love of hoes... which they dutifully till their land with to create great soil beds for their plants and vegetables (what did you think we meant?)

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki
Hortus Gardening Jacket
Rhodes Tobacco

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki Arbor Gardening Smock Wick Denim Indigo Rinse

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki
Arbor Gardening Smock
Wick Denim Indigo Rinse

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki Scion Gardening Gilet Rhodes Black

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki
Scion Gardening Gilet
Rhodes Black

Modern gardeners such as Arthur Parkinson (who we shot for our Niwaki collection) bring a new colourful energy to the scene, but we can't forget the old school crew - I mean who can wear a navy chore jacket better than the grandmaster Monty Don? Or a funnel-neck fleece better than The Titchmarsh?!

Of course, looking good in the garden is always secondary (unless you're Lady Chatterley) to the how the garden itself looks. From well-positioned balcony pots to glorious arboretums, great gardening is much like great style - selecting a number of different components and bringing them together to create a cohesive story that's easy on the eye. That's why we were so excited to collaborate with Niwaki this season but it allowed us to bring a truly functional aspect to our design principles.

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki Borders Gardening Trouser Rhodes Tobacco

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki
Borders Gardening Trouser
Rhodes Tobacco

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki Arbor Gardening Smock Wick Denim Light

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki
Arbor Gardening Smock
Wick Denim Light

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki Hortus Gardening Jacket Wick Denim Indigo Rinse

Oliver Spencer x Niwaki
Hortus Gardening Jacket
Wick Denim Indigo Rinse

If you're in need of inspiration for your own garden this summer, Britain has an embarrassment of horticultural riches to visit from north to south. We've selected a few of our favourites that are definitely worth a visit this summer. Extra style points if you turn up in Oliver Spencer x Niwaki...

Hidcote, Gloucestershire

This Arts and Crafts-inspired garden has intricately designed outdoor spaces you Nestled in the Cotswold hills. Hidcote's arts and crafts-inspired garden fabulous garden was designed by American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston and is renowned for its vibrant outdoor ‘rooms’ that you come across between a maze of quaint narrow pathways. Much of the flora and fauna was actually collected by Johnstone himself who was an avid botanical explorer. 

Tresco Abbey, Isle of Scilly

Oli's favourite garden in the world, the Tresco Abbey gardens on the Isles of Scilly are a botanical paradise, planted among the ruins of a Benedictine priory. It dates back to the 1830s and features over 20,000 plant species from all over the world. It's also home to the Valhalla Museum, a collection of figureheads gathered from shipwrecks in the treacherous waters around the islands. The red squirrels are a hoot, too.

Tintinhull Garden, Somerset

If you ever find yourself in Somerset, head over to Tintinhull Garden on the outskirts of Yeovil. Beautifully manicured lawns, vibrant borders, and sparkling ponds and water features surround an elegant 17th century house built from local Ham Hill stone. It's perfectly tranquil and a great pace to chill out on a summer's day. pretty stone house near Yeovil in Somerset and makes a wonderful spot to stroll around on a warm day. Sparkling ponds and water features, secluded lawns, brightly coloured borders and manicured hedges create the perfect place to relax and unwind away from the hustle and bustle.

Sissinghurst Castle, Kent

Sissinghurst is steeped in history, being the gardens of the poet Vita Sackville-West and her husband Sir Harold Nicolson who moved here in 1930.  Both were members of the Bloomsbury group, and enjoyed an open marriage (Sackville-West was the lover of Virginia Woolf for the best part of a decade). The pair transformed the gardens from vegetable patches for farm workers to the series of ‘rooms’ filled with various planting schemes, most famously the Cottage Garden and the White Garden.

Plas Cadnant, Anglesey

Often called the Welsh 'Lost Gardens of Heligan,' Plas Cadnant on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales is a hidden garden that is still in the process of being  uncovered. In 1996, the present owner bought the 200 acre Plas Cadnant Estate and work began on the restoration of the historic garden and grounds. Since then large parts of the gardens have undergone a spectacular transformation and have been restored to their former glory. Three different gardens have been discovered, including an unusual walled garden with curving walls and pool, a secret valley garden with three waterfalls and river, and an upper woodland garden with stone outcrops and the remains of a 19th century folly.

Ventnor Botanic Garden, Isle of Wight

Ventnor Botanic Garden is the botanical gem of the Isle of Wight, boasting a magnificent collection of over 30,000 rare and sub-tropical plants, which you won’t be able to see anywhere else in Britain. This is mainly due to Ventnor Undercliff’s unique microclimate, which provides a fertile environment for exotic species (Ventnor is about 5 degrees warmer than the average of the rest of the UK).

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