A Walk Down Tessa’s Jewelry Garden

Tessa Packard launches ‘Once Upon A Time In My Garden’

“I have hundreds of garden memories from my childhood. For me, the garden was one big adventure playground with endless opportunities for discovery and self-entertainment,” says Tessa Packard, whose favourite pastimes included climbing trees and breakneck speeds; using the box hedges as an equestrian assault course where she would pretend to be a jockey in the Grand National; creating soups and magical potions from whatever she could find growing around her. Oh, to grow up in her garden! 

The London-based designer, who spent most of her carefree years in Southern Scotland, has turned to gardens for inspiration. Her newest collection, aptly named ‘Once Upon A Time In My Garden,’ meanders through her childhood memories. A large part of the inspiration also comes from a past era, shares Tessa, who began work on this collection a summer ago. 

The designer wanted to create a collection inspired by the quintessential English garden, but also knew that it would have to be highly imaginary and stylised as well. Then, she started looking at the work of other creatives who she admires; those who had themselves tackled the subject of the garden or countryside. “Some, such as Shakespeare and Lewis Carrol had created completely bonkers and mind-bending universes, starkly different from our own. Others, such as Stubbs and Capability Brown, had adapted reality in search for the Romantic. I used bits here and there from all of them to create my own hybrid secret garden.” Tread carefully through the garden; for insects, crabs, turtles, and anemone inhabit Tessa’s green haven speckled with flowers and dragonflies flitting by.

  • Down by the Lake Earrings

    Down by the Lake Earrings

  • Rock Pool Cufflinks

    Rock Pool Cufflinks

  • Rock Pool Earrings

    Rock Pool Earrings

  • The Gardener's Necklace

    The Gardener's Necklace

  • Wonderland Earrings

    Wonderland Earrings

  • In the Greenhouse Earrings

    In the Greenhouse Earrings

The line includes rings, earrings, charms, necklaces, and cufflinks that are restricted to a six-tone palette of gold, verdigris, gunmetal grey, pure white, sunflower yellow and black. Tessa wanted the jewellery to look “as though it had been exposed to the elements and oxidised over time,” and desired a finish most associated with weathered metals. She chose to use verdigris brass. The texture and green tone of the verdigris, says Tessa, mirrors that of the natural world. “The finish created by the patina is uniquely organic, reminiscent of moss growing on rocks, of bark patterns on a tree,” adds Tessa. 

In the collection, ‘Once Upon A Time In My Garden,’ the designer has opted for agates, citrines and sapphires to complement the aged, mossy effect on the pieces. “The palette is concise, and purposely so. I wanted the collection to feel a little other-wordy, in the way that an imagined secret-garden-themed collection should,” she explains. For Tessa, her creations had to be believable too. What better way to infuse a degree of restrain and realism but through the ironwork tones of black and grey? Her magical garden also has pops of brightness: she has brought in “wonderful buzzy yellows to represent an element that is essential to any happy garden – Sunshine.”
Now, who wants to amble down Tessa’s secret garden? The collection will be available online and in the designer’s showroom from May.

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