He picks up stones everywhere and is always accepting gifts of gravel. He also likes to observe bonsai: ?There?s a lot to be learned there about the matching of plant to pot.?

Despite hundreds of containers and probably thousands of plants in a small garden, there is no feeling of clutter?it?s done with such a sense of scale between pot and plant, and pots and the garden as a whole. Plant collecting and a designer?s eye are a rare combination, but Parker has melded both to create an exquisite, almost Zen-like space, which happens to be full of tiny landscapes.

Dwarf mountain ashes don their fiery fall colour.