Colourful fern design printed on a textile screen for decorating exterior spaces in gardens Blue fabric bunting hanging in a garden like a blue butterfly. Textile screen embossed in a graphic thistle and grass design. Luminous red and yellow fabrics hanging in front of a blue garden wisteria tree art-ful, sculptural-shaped  blue textile bunting before a garden hedge printed fabric graphic, autumn leaves on golden yellow background

Jo Pearl and Textiles

As a child growing up in Bedfordshire in the 70's, I had an apple green Marimekko cushion on my bed that was my pride and joy. That's probably what attracted me to textiles, that, and tie-dying sun-tops during summer holidays.

During my foundation year of art school in Paris in the 1980's I tried my hand at textile design and loved it. However, I didn't see myself working in the predominantly female environment of the textile design profession. Instead, I went off to study international relations in London and then worked in TV, fashion and architecture.

Christo's Pont Neuf, Italian medieval flags, Matisse, more Marimekko and Svenska Tenn - they all made their impression on me. However, it was only after having my two children, Zac and Elsa and looking at my inner London garden yearning for colour that the idea of couture for the garden took hold and has not let go. For me, the dynamic quality of the wind playing on colourful fabrics somehow lifts the spirit and adds joy and focus to a view. They draw on the celebratory, spiritual and tribal associations of flags and banners that are universally appealing.

When it comes to garden design and planting for myself I naturally gravitate towards architectural plants that create impact year-round, and give a lush, low maintenance haven to escape to. In my current garden, which I developed with designers Positive Earth, I am particularly pleased with my topiary "cloud bush", and a wall of rustling bamboo that are great foils for my fabrics and look very theatrical, particularly lit at night.

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Jo Pearl at work on one of her garden textile designs
Copyright © Garden Textiles by Jo Pearl 2006 - all rights reserved.