The Eat & Shelter garden was designed for homeowners to be able to cook, use the surrounding edibles and create a unique habitat for wildlife too. This is an ultra low maintenance garden which proves that you can provide for wildlife while still having a luxury contemporary design.
Eat and Shelter combines contemporary planting with plenty of texture from grasses and tall flowering plants, with a top-of-the-range Alfa pizza oven and fire table. Edible planting such as thyme, rosemary, fennel and chives means diners can simply pick herb and salads straight from the garden to add onto their meal.
Taking the place of traditional wall art from the world of interiors, I designed these ‘frames’ (pictured above) to hold native deadwood that attract wildlife and provide homes for insects. They help offset the use of modern materials that are still necessary and functional in modern garden design such as porcelain tiles and composite timbers.
The garden design took home a gold award, as well as Best Construction, from the BBC Gardeners’ World Live for its unique juxtaposition of ecology and luxury high end design.
In celebration of IWD, I thought I’d give a mention to two female artists I’ve been researching recently. Kathryn Gustafson is a multi award-winning landscape architect, well-known for her sculptural forms. She designed the Princes Diana memorial water fountain in Hyde Park, London, which is a beautiful sculptural form which was designed to reflect Diana’s life, with water swirling and bubbling before it meets in a calm pool.
Kathryn has worked on such a diverse set of projects – a city square in Evry France; Headquarters buildings for Shell and Esso, in Franc; Londo; electricity pylons for a French electricity company; a courtyard in Whitehall; the Garden of Forgiveness in Beirut; a pedestrian bridge in Costa Mesa, California, a gasworks park in Amsterdam; the interior of the Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales.
Topher Delaney is another landscape architect’s whose work I’ve been researching and finding massively inspiring. When the San Francisco artist was diagnosed with breast cancer, she made a pact that if she survived she would devote her work to helping others heal. She is also really enthusiastic about logistics, such as maintenance and access, especially for hospital gardens and looking at how people can access a space.
I particularly liked this quote from an interview, “The word garden, from the German garten, originally meant enclosure. So if you think about this in a metaphysical way, a garden should be more than just a pretty object. It should be like an embrace.”
I visited Kew Gardens recently on a fact-finding trip down to the Big Smoke. Not only is it inspirational to be walking through such a vibrant and diverse city, the Kew Gardens glasshouses are a real treat. The world’s largest Victorian glasshouse is filled with 1500 species of plants from all over the world. I could have probably stayed in there for a week, there was so much to look at.