James Alexander-Sinclair

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Member since
29th August 2007

JAMES ALEXANDER - SINCLAIR has been designing gardens for ages. After a suitably misspent youth he began as a landscape contractor in London before moving to Northamptonshire to build a house in 1992. Since then he has designed gardens, both large and small, all over the country from the South of France to the Western Isles. He has had show gardens at both the Chelsea Flower Show and the Westonbirt International Festival of the Garden.

In his spare time he has written articles for many publications including Gardens Illustrated, The Garden, House and Garden, Gardenlife, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Homes and Gardens and the Express. He is currently writing an occasional series on design for Country Living Magazine, a series on Plants for Gardeners’ World Magazine and a short book on perennials.

James has also presented television programmes on both the BBC and Channel 4, hosts the design theatres at both the Malvern Spring Show and the Chelsea Flower Show and lectures on gardens all over the place (including an ongoing tour of regional theatres with a show called Green with Envy). His website and blog are at www.blackpitts.co.uk

James Alexander-Sinclair's activity

  1. August 2007
  2. James Alexander-Sinclair reviewed Isola del Garda in Lombardy - Lakes, Italy

    This is a small island on Italy’s Lake Garda: privately owned, it has only very recently opened to the public. It has been inhabited since Roman times - with a short respite as a game reserve during the decline of the Empire - by an ever changing stream …"

  3. James Alexander-Sinclair reviewed Brooklyn Botanic Gardens in New York City, United States

    I have been here only once: in October as the Autumn began to bite. It was altogether fascinating. Americans garden differently to the British. They are very keen on great platters of colour that would send many tweedier British gardeners guffawing towar…"

  4. James Alexander-Sinclair reviewed Mount Stuart in Scotland, United Kingdom

    Mount Stuart House sits in gothic splendor on the Isle of Bute. Warmed by the Gulf Stream and nourished by lots of good healthy Scottish rain the 300 acres of gardens and policies (a Scots word meaning “pleasure grounds around a mansion”) have been in a …"

  5. James Alexander-Sinclair reviewed Ascog Hall in Scotland, United Kingdom

    Ascog Hall is an interesting building in the Scottish baronial style (turrets and arrow slit windows) ; the views of the Firth of Clyde are good and the climate equable. However, the real reason for going there lies in the garden - a recently rescued, al…"

  6. James Alexander-Sinclair rated Broughton Castle

  7. James Alexander-Sinclair rated Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

  8. James Alexander-Sinclair rated Ascog Hall

  9. James Alexander-Sinclair rated Coton Manor

  10. James Alexander-Sinclair rated Cottesbrooke Hall

  11. James Alexander-Sinclair rated Colonsay House

  12. James Alexander-Sinclair rated Isola del Garda

  13. James Alexander-Sinclair rated Mount Stuart

  14. James Alexander-Sinclair reviewed Cottesbrooke Hall in Northampton, United Kingdom

    Such a pretty house (supposedly Jane Austen’s model for Mansfield Park) set in some wonderful 18th century parkland although the identity of the original architect has been lost. There is no sign of any garden from that time - one of the essential proble…"

  15. James Alexander-Sinclair reviewed Colonsay House in Scotland, United Kingdom

    If you are going to make a special effort to go and see a garden - and the effort involved in getting to somewhere like the isle of Colonsay is not inconsiderable - then it is useful to have other things to see as well. The very charming gardens surround…"

  16. James Alexander-Sinclair reviewed Broughton Castle in Cotswolds, United Kingdom

    It’s not often you find places with moats: not just dry ditches but proper water filled moats with stone bridges and defensive gatehouses. Broughton in Oxfordshire is one of them. The Fiennes family have been there through thick and thin since 1377 - inc…"

  17. James Alexander-Sinclair reviewed Coton Manor in Midlands, United Kingdom

    If you love classic English planting and design then you will adore Coton. A honey coloured 17th century stone house surrounded by about ten acres of garden. The original garden was laid out in the 1920s but it has been immeasurably improved since Ian Pa…"