While I claim to decidedly a city person, I often find myself craving the solace and tranquility of spending a little time in the country (it's just the suburbs I'm afraid of!). Something about the quiet and space and being closer to nature just seems to clear my mind, I can feel the tension melting away and my body starting to feel looser, lighter. For me, the ideal situation would be to have a bit of both, a home conveniently in the city to 'be a part of it all' and a country retreat to flee to and regain a little sanity at the end of a long week.
Stella McCartney country retreat is a veritable haven. “I grew up in the country, and I like being isolated,” says Stella. “So when I see a building on the horizon, I want to plant a tree in front of it. That’s my natural instinct.” Their handsome red brick Georgian home is encompassed by a "a garden within a garden within a garden" - beautiful mix of more formal, manicured gardens with edged pathways and sculpted hedges and the more relaxed and haphazard style of a traditional English country garden, all surrounded by green rolling hills.
As in her fashion designs, Stella does not care for red or yellow and is drawn instead to the dusty pastels she loves—in fact, she even gave her gardener Tyler fabric swatches when they were planning the plantings. “You don’t always get what you want,” she says, laughing. “We had tulips that were supposed to be white, and they opened yellow. I couldn’t look at them. I was literally like the Queen from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: ‘Paint them white!’ ”
For their wedding in 2003, Stella and husband Alasdhair Willis asked their guests to give trees in lieu of gifts. Gwyneth Paltrow gave copper beeches. American relatives gave redwoods. Valentino and Tom Ford each grandly sent allées of linden trees from Germany. They used these to create a heart shaped copse.