Reflecting on 2023

As well as our collaborations with DEFRA and the RHS, we were recognised as Sustainable Landscape Architects Practice of the Year in the Pro Landscaper awards. We planted 8,000 trees in the Mara region of Kenya and developed 2 forest school gardens back at home working with the Berkeley Reafforestation Trust. By supporting Nicholsons, you are enabling all of this vital work and we are very grateful for your support.

By Liz Nicholson – Managing Director

On a lighter note, as Christmas approaches, I always remember happy days when our daughters, Rosi and Clara, were little and school had broken up for the holidays. We’d snuggle into the sofa in front of the fire and watch the Sound of Music, a lifelong family favourite.

Corny, yes, but full of the essence of joy, best illustrated by the Raindrops and Roses song.

In case you don’t know it…

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with string
These are a few of my favourite things

Cream-coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favourite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into spring
These are a few of my favourite things

I find the winter solstice a good time to reflect on the joy and balance in life. We have survived the wettest autumn that I recall… and yes, I do say that every year but every year it seems to be true!

Somehow, after summer’s generosity in nature where the senses become so overloaded that we perhaps skim over the richness of nature, the short, stark days of late December carry a different timbre .. everything is in sharp focus with little to distract us.  Only then do we see the real beauty of nature with complete clarity. I want to stop and photograph the trees in the valley every morning on my way to work – the heavy crowns emerging from the dawn mist simply take my breath away and the day has not yet begun.  The birdsong as dawn breaks and seeing the wren and blue tits bobbing about the garden as I leave the house is the perfect start to a day.

We have moved house and I have a cheeky, red rose hip just outside my kitchen window and it brings a huge smile to my face every time I see it… why? I don’t know but it is simple and beautiful and promises more roses next year… it simply gives me JOY.

I hope that you have time this Christmas to be in your garden and in nature and have a moment to value what gives you joy. For me, it will be that crisp apple strudel, family times and the natural world that we are so lucky to live in.

Wishing you and your loved ones the happiest Christmas time from the whole team at Nicholsons.