Making a great garden all starts with an idea

You need to give it some thought  if you want more than just a collection of plants, says Peter Dowdall.

Making a great garden all starts with an idea

EVERY garden starts with an idea. That idea could be as simple as a child planting a seed in a patch of ground outside.

That seed grows into a tree and then over the years plants go in around it and before you know it a garden exists or the idea could be a complete design with three-dimensional images and computer generated images.

Which approach is more correct? Neither in truth.

But if you want a garden to be more than just a collection of plants then you need to give thought to what you want to achieve from it.

Your outdoor space is every bit as important as that indoors in terms of living space and because the elements used to create this outdoor living space are living and constantly changing then care must be taken as to which plants are used and where.

Your personal taste should have a big influence on the creation of your garden.

If your preference is for clean lines and minimalism and your interior is all about pale colours and simplicity, then the space outside should reflect that.

Equally, if your taste is more for a bit of everything and a bit all over the place then perhaps the garden could reflect that.

Now that’s not to say that everything needs to be strictly designed and that the garden needs to fit a certain label to the nth degree. No, the garden should also be free and a space to enjoy and be free from the burdens and chores that dictate in other aspects of life.

Those of us that live and breathe gardening and garden design understand that behind every well-designed garden there is a team of talented and dedicated professionals: the landscape architect or garden designer, the landscape contractor and the nurseryman. Each has a unique and essential role to play.

Seminar marks 21 years

The Garden & Landscape Designers Association celebrates its 21st seminar on Saturday 11 February at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, Dublin 9. This seminar is a meeting of minds for those in the industry where new ideas are discussed, and guest speakers are welcomed.

This year speakers will be: Sue and Bleddyn Jones whorun Crûg Farm Plants in North Wales, who spend up to three months every year collecting plants in remote corners of Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Their work has resulted in discoveries of many exciting species, new to science, as well as the discovery of an entirely new genus.

Their first ever display at Chelsea won the coveted President’s Award and since then they have won many RHS Gold Medals They will speak about the fascinating world of plant collecting in South East Asia, in a wet climate with steep terrain, illustrating how many of the plants we are now familiar with have been discovered, plus exciting new discoveries and introductions to come from their more recent trips.

Thomas Doxiadis, ASLA, is an internationally recognised architect and landscape architect from Athens where he has his own architecture and landscape practice. The practice won first prize for the urban space fronting the new Acropolis Museum.

He taught at Harvard and has won many awards for his work. He is the current chairman of the Natural Environment council of the Greek Society for Natural and Cultural Preservation. Thomas has written about and participated in conferences focusing on ecology, landscape, and the city.

Emma Mazzullo, DLA, MSGD.

For over 20 years (1994 to 2014) Emma worked as practice director for the internationally renowned landscape designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd, who designed the new look Airfield in Dundrum.

In 2014 she and Libby Russell (also an ex-employee of Arabella’s) set up Mazzullo + Russell Landscape Design. Emma has overseen commercial and domestic landscape projects ranging from a half acre roof garden in the City of London and four Chelsea Flower Show gardens to many large private and commercial landscapes in Britain, Europe, Russia, the Ukraine, Hong Kong and North America.

Noël Van Mierlo of the design bureau Van Mierlo Tuinen in The Netherlands is a multi-award winner and specialises in creating adventurous gardens and bold garden structures.

He says: “The garden should be an extension of your house, assimilate with the existing surroundings and fit your way of life. My purpose is to create natural wellness experiences in the garden that give you joy. I do that by bringing together nature, architecture and people with craftsmanship, attention to detail and care.”

For more info or Tel: 01-294 0092

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