I knew that I wanted a house that was as "eco" as possible, so the obvious standard was Passive House. I also wanted a modern design and had in mind something like the Farnsworth House (Mies van der Rohe).
I asked John Eger, who had designed my London house, to do a sketch. He did a brilliant design, based on my rough outline but with an unusual twist - the asymmetric roof, based on the Fibonacci spiral.
Having started with the Fibonacci spiral in the house, it was obvious that the spiral had to appear in the garden as a recurrent motif.
Garden design has to take back seat, however, to turning 9000 square metres (2 1/4 acres) of nettles, thistles and brambles into usable land. The site had been a dairy farm, but the land had been unused for 7 years and nature had taken its course.
I had thought that my little house in Camberwell would be my last house. However, I started visiting France frequently with Lesley Delacourt, in particular Montreuil-sur-Mer, and changed my mind!
I realised that I could afford to buy a plot of land large enough for a house, a garden, and a vegetable plot. In the summer of 2013 we were walking in the valley of the Course and saw a lovely plot for sale. Of course, one doesn't buy the first thing one sees, but after looking around I returned to that lovely plot, in Inxent, and started thinking.
Dick's house in France