Colour in the Garden, Sandra and Nori Pope

Colour in the Garden, Sandra and Nori Pope

Thanks to Noel Kingsbury’s blog post I’ve discovered the sad news of the passing of Nori Pope.  Although I never had the pleasure of listening or talking to him, I did have the opportunity to visit his and Sandra’s garden back in 2004. As it turns out, a fortuitous visit en route from Yorkshire to Cornwall on holiday, as it wasn’t much time after this that they both returned to Canada.

Noel’s writing certainly conveys their creative passion for colour in the garden. And how they manipulated planting colour following a musical theme. And sadly, what’s happened to the garden now.

Planting designs are so inherently burdened with the 4th dimension, time…. and how the creative design can be lost if not nurtured by the right custodian.

I came across Sandra and Nori Pope’s work when I was teaching at Leeds University.  A colleague Dr Jim Nobbs, running a colour science module for design students on colour in design, asked me if I’d like to give a couple of lectures on colour in garden design.

Back then, my interest in garden design had only just been sparked (see previous post).  So it was all new to me.  But after searching and digging round the internet I discovered a few books.  One I’ve spoken of previously (by Sandra Austin) and another by Sandra and Nori Pope…. and that’s when I found out about Hadspen House in Somerset, and had to go.  My photos will be on an old computer somewhere so I must dig them out…  but do take a look at Noel’s post as he has some lovely pictures there.


Judging from Noel’s insightful words, it seems like I was one of the lucky ones…



A rather belated post about this year’s Houzz award – received back in January!  But still worth a shout don’t you think?

Melissa Morton Garden Design has been awarded the accolade ‘Best of Houzz 2018’ by the international home renovation and design platform, Houzz. This follows two similar accolades from Houzz in 2016 (for Design) and 2017 (for Service).

The award. in the Customer Service category for Melissa’s portfolio of services, includes some of the most consistent reviews on Houzz during 2017.

‘Melissa was very professional but approachable. I used her unique ‘1-off Consultation‘ service. The 2.5 hours of discussion focussed on how to give my garden more cohesion whilst keeping it informal and wildlife friendly. She presented lots of ideas some of which I am already putting into place. At the end of the session a written list of topics was provided with a few annotated photographs.’

‘Melissa gave us the inspiration and ideas we were looking for, to get the most of our garden. She provided a prompt and efficient service which was good value for money. Thank you Melissa.’ (Garden Inspirations Design Service)

To see Melissa’s Houzz profile, click here.

Running isn’t my passion. The outdoors, the landscape, trees and planting are (aside from my family of course). But the only way to keep moderately fit and healthy in balance with work, home and family is to run. It’s convenient; […]


Melissa Morton Garden Design, Ilkley, West Yorkshire has won a HOUZZ “Best of Customer Service” award for 2017. This badge rates the business at the highest level for client satisfaction by the HOUZZ community. HOUZZ is the leading platform for home renovation and design. The HOUZZ community consists of more than 40 million monthly unique global users.


The Best of HOUZZ is awarded annually in three categories.  These badges help homeowners identify popular and top rated home professionals on HOUZZ. Customer Service awards are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews for a professional service.


I’m so proud to receive this award; it recognises my commitment to my clients, providing the best service for them. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on some fantastic projects, working with clients wishing to create their dream garden. 


In particular I’d like to thank the clients who have taken the time to write and submit a review as I appreciate the time taken out of their busy lives to write feedback which is constructive and meaningful. As a small business owner this is vital to help improve my services.


My ‘One-off Consultations’ have been particularly appreciated and valued.  They have developed as a direct result of customer feedback.  Tailored for people who wish to transform or adapt their garden themselves but don’t know where to start, they offer great value. I try to share as much as I can during the brainstorming session with the home owner.


Melissa is extremely knowledgeable, a great teacher and very good fun!…  At the end of the 2 hours I felt totally inspired about the future of what is essentially quite a small and uninspiring space. E. Gordon.


There are a lot of people out there who want to transform or adapt their garden themselves. They have a lot of ideas but don’t know where to start, how best to phase changes or perhaps need a little direction. I try to leave clients with some inspiration and 2-3 things to focus on to enhance their garden in their own time.


The Flash Planting Design was developed for a client who wanted to rejuvenate their borders in time for a June garden party.  It worked really well, so is now offered as a NEW service.


Melissa was a pleasure to deal with and made the process of transforming our garden a really enjoyable process. With Melissa’s help, I learnt that I have strong preferences, and my choices were translated into a beautiful and elegant garden which is perfectly suited to the site and to our lifestyle.  AM Cousins


This HOUZZ award has been a great start to the year, and I’m excited what 2017 will bring. I’d like to let readers know about a promotional discount for my One-off Consultations during February and March – a great way to kick start any changes this year.


Go to HOUZZ for more details.



A family trip to Edinburgh’s castle during October half term brought an unexpected appreciation of a sensitive landscape design around the ‘new’ Scottish Parliament – ‘sitting in the land’.  Walking from parking the car on the edge of Holyrood Park towards the Royal mile we came across and walked alongside the parliament building. A very modern structure (built 1999-2004) juxtaposed to the rugged and natural Arthur’s seat. My 10 year old son, was compelled to take his shoes and socks off to dip his feet in one of the vigoratingly cool pools.

Read more