I think the universe is trying to tell me something - it seems that everywhere I turn I hear or read the words 'sense of place" / "spirit of place" /"genius loci" ! (All interchangeable) It is one of those intangible concepts that I confess I am struggling to really come to grips with within the context of an urban setting. I can see how you can relate a garden to a rural setting (well sometimes) but the changes that have been wrought to the urban environment and the motley mix of surrounding garden styles - woodland next door - cottage garden over the road - dead grass and self seeded privet in another - oak tree one side - sugar gum the other - it's a real hotchpotch - frankly it leaves me scratching my head. I would be most interested to know how other gardeners have managed to reconcile these things and managed to identify their "spirit of place". I do draw inspiration from designers such as Fiona Brockhoff, Gordon Ford and Phillip Johnson -for me, they seem to be able to embody the whole concept in their designs. I am really attracted to that idea - I think it would make a garden "read" well in the same way a great painting "reads" well even though you don't always know why. So any suggestions or ideas from fellow gardeners would be most welcome because the "genius loci" of my little patch is clearly eluding me!