Escapes | Bringing the outdoors in

Escapes | Bringing the outdoors in

By Yawn Team

Escapes | Bringing the outdoors in
Spring is here, but not all of us have gardens to plant our favourite bulbs. With a mission to bring the outdoors in this season, we turned to Surrey based award winning garden designer and botanical stylist, Catherine Chenery. 
Catherine wears Pyjama Set 'Blue Chambray'

Creating bespoke residential gardens for clients across the UK, Chenery was awarded the People’s Choice Award at RHS Hampton 2015 for the show garden ‘Unique', created for The Rare Chromosome Disorder Society. This year she'll be exhibiting 'Chelsea Jungle', an immersive botanical installation, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 

To find out more and pick up some gardening tips along the way, read below...


"I have always loved plants and the outdoors. There's something incredibly soothing about being immersed in nature.

Like most of us, I lead a busy and sometimes chaotic life and spending time around plants helps me to reconnect, relax and switch off.

For me, having some green space in my home has always been important. I once lived in a tiny studio flat in Highgate with the smallest balcony. I covered the balcony in pots full of flowers and grew tomatoes and cucumbers up the railings. Then I put huge cushions on the floor and spent every evening out there in the summer and suddenly my tiny studio wasn't quite so small.

Whether you have a window box or a large country garden, my top tip is to bring the outside in. I love to fill the house with things I've collected from the garden. Creating a seasonal posy takes moments to put together but looks so cheerful on a bedside table. A collection of little vases of flowers on a tablescape is also lovely.

During Easter, I love to decorate using fresh flowers to create table decorations and wreaths. Conterted hazel, Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’, is twisty and perfect in a vase to create an easter tree covered in decorated eggs.

At this time of year, tulips, narcissi, wall flowers and even humble little forget-me-nots are wonderful to bring indoors. I find it calming to wander through the garden to see what has come into flower. Spring coming into bloom fills me with hope and makes me look ahead. I am trying to do this once a month and record a photo of the posy on Instagram to have a visual diary of what's coming into bloom each month.

Another favourite for me is to bring in a few branches to arrange them in a vase. In April, magnolias, blossom and, in the next few weeks, lilacs are wonderful to bring indoors. Even branches of emerging fresh green leaves in a simple vase work beautifully. If you don’t have a garden full of shrubs to snip branches from you can also pick up flowering branches from your local florist."

For those of you have been inspired to pick up your gardening gloves, we'd love to see your creations - email or tag @yawnlondon.

 Catherine will be exhibiting a botanical installation, ‘Chelsea Jungle’ this summer at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 23rd - 27th May. To find out more visit or @catherine_clc on Instagram.