So is it a bit like the house design show Grand Designs?
Yes, except there’s something fundamentally different about handing over a garden, compared with handing over a building. When a builder or architect presents a completed building, it’s the equivalent of a young adult – fully formed, and ready for dressing as the owners wish. When a garden designer hands over a garden, it’s like they’re passing on a designer baby.
This immature creation has to be nurtured, fed and disciplined as the owner sees fit, guiding it into adulthood. When the landscaper leaves, it’s not in anyway a completed product.
The handover is the start of its history.
As a designer yourself, have you enjoyed seeing other designers at work?
I’ve loved every minute of this process. I’ve been frequently delighted and personally challenged by the way each of the designers has addressed the creative opportunities or difficulties of each site, and have often had to confess (to myself, at least) that I wouldn’t have thought up the same solution in a million years. What’s more, I’ve been really reassured by the humility and generosity of both the designers and the landscapers involved. There’s been a notable lack of ego, despite interviewing some of the biggest names in the business. Everyone who works in the industry seems to love the industry, and has a deep personal investment in the quality of what they’re providing.