Italian Garden Design

Italian Renaissance Gardens

Having studied these in detail during my dissertation research I had to experience these a first hand and spent an autumn holiday in Italy wandering spectacular ruins with original plans in hand. These gardens were, and remain an inspiration for their strong form and sense of mystery.

Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks Washington DC

This garden is the work of a perfectionist (Beatrix Farrand) and was made with tremendous attention to detail and craftsmanship, which I believe to be an essential.

There is both variety and harmony.

Stonypath Gardens

Ian Hamilton Finlay’s garden : Stonypath

I visited Stonypath in the summer of the Glasgow Garden Festival. What a contrast from the spurious set pieces of the festival to the enigmatic charm of Hamilton Finlay’s garden. I must chosen a favourable day as I was shown round much of the garden by the man himself, who explained its arcane meanings and cultural references. It was an inspiration in that it taught me how much of a mental construct a garden can be.

Chaumont Garden Design

Chaumont International Garden Festival

This concept-based garden festival in the Loire is in complete contrast to our plant centered festivals.
This doesn’t preclude skilful use of plants, indeed as the gardens are on show from April to October it is essential. A different theme is chosen each year and although sometimes the portentous description outweighs the actuality it remains the most iconoclastic garden show and usually provides some point of inspiration.

Derek Jarman's Garden

Derek Jarman’s Garden

Derek Jarman’s Garden inspires in demonstrating that creative response to an existing landscape is paramount. The stark beauty of the Dungeness landscape is polarised here. This garden grew from the place and is of the place. ‘Objets trouve’ from the beach are its ornament – sea-weathered wood, stones and rusted scrap metal are used to create an idiosyncratic sculptural idiom. Nor does it depend on plants for its beauty – the majority are wild species, natural to the place, found growing locally among the shingle.
And yet, with vision the whole becomes a world apart – but integral to its setting