17 Jun A Garden For You
One of the most iconic houses of the 20th century is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.
Here it is in the photograph above – a series of concrete terraced slabs rising above a waterfall. Various wise journals say it’s a ‘masterpiece’ and a place ‘you have to visit before you die’.
Sure, it looks incredible, but consider this. It’s structurally unsound, the owners were in dispute with the architect for much of the project and it ran spectacularly over budget.
First and foremost, this was a house designed by a famous architect to boost his own reputation.
This isn’t uncommon in contemporary garden design. As designers we live in an age of computers and a vast choice of materials. Put the two together and it’s too easy to create a garden of all sorts of interlinking shapes, made up of far too many materials. A square of white pebbles, bound by metal edging, meets a sliver of grass or pond made inky black with dye.
Like Fallingwater, it will be eye-catching in a photograph. The designer will pocket his or her fee and maybe enter it for a competition. But the client will end up with a needlessly expensive garden that will be hard to maintain and one which will be out of fashion in a few years.
What’s the solution? Simple. In our design work, we have two key principles:
- It’s your garden. Our role in designing your garden is to work with the space, your budget and above all to listen to you and understand what you and your family (and quite often your pets) want from your garden. If there are some unusual requests, that’s fine. Our job is to incorporate them into the design in a way that feels effortless and in keeping with the garden as a whole. That can sometimes be a challenge, but that’s why you employ us!
- Keep it simple. Where we are different from many other designers is that we keep things simple. We spend time understanding what you want and what the site has to offer and we produce a bold design using a limited palette of materials that work in harmony with each other. This will create a garden that is beautiful, timeless and not overworked. As clients you may choose to spend more or less money on individual materials, but the overall scheme will not be made unduly expensive through complicated layout.
Of course, we might love to showcase your beautiful new garden in a magazine one day. But first and foremost, our role is to work for you, creating a garden that is right for you to live in and enjoy.