Planning and Design
I have always combined my garden work with art. Painting gardens, landscapes, plants and wildlife has long held a fascination for me and brought a strength to my work in the garden on both a practical and design level. I spent a great deal of time during my initial horticultural training creating botanical studies and botanical scientific drawings for study and reference, and prepared them for the science department to use as illustrations.
Just spending time working in garden landscapes has inspired my work as a garden designer, it is an element of my work that I enjoy, no matter what the garden in relation to scale or ambition. It also makes my practical work in the garden stronger. There are now great landscape designers in the UK, we are lucky to have them. I think that the best of them know their plants well, and they know that the design is as good as the people who create the idea, put their ideas onto the ground. I think too that the best designers know that it takes good gardeners and people who will listen to them to make the landscape design work. People who are sensitive to their vision and will work carefully to create a good, indeed great garden.
Detailed on these pages are just a few of the landscape designs that I have worked on in partnership with my wife, a horticulturalist and plants women.
The Rose garden was designed as part of a series for The National Trust. The other designs below are examples of both large and small gardens. The design side of my work is, and has to be based very much on my practical work and knowledge in the garden, whatever the aspect of that may be. It may be creating or designing as part of working ‘hands on’ in practical projects or work in the garden. Adding to aspects and variety of design in an existing garden, or planning a garden landscape from scratch.
I would not consider myself to be a landscape designer per-say. My designs are based much more on practical knowledge and application, especially in relation to management and continuing long term maintenance in the garden. They are also influenced by art, and love for nature and all things natural.
The plan above is a larger garden and includes wetland, some woodland, lawn area, all surrounded by and including a rose garden in the Old English Rose tradition. Also extensive herbaceous planting. A central Rose Arbor is a strong focal point and a place to sit, entertain and relax in a location where individual aspects of the garden can be enjoyed.
The plan to the right demonstrates the practical knowledge employed in designing a garden, in this case good plant knowledge, as shown in the sketch of plants in situ. A smaller, but nevertheless intensively planted garden, designed for year round enjoyment and interest.
The illustration below is from the larger garden plan above and shows the wetland and lake area to the front to the property with work in progress to create the planned garden behind in the lee of the house.
The garden featured in Period Homes, and a related article on the development of The Humber Marsh Wetland Nature Reserve which I designed and built in conjunction with this project.