Thursday, May 17th, 2012
I am often asked “Where do you come up with your ideas?” My answer; I love to read. My husband, Roger, says I always have my nose in a book. At all times I have a pile of books and magazines within reach of where I am sitting. Volumes of hardcover landscaping and plant books are on the shelves in my office, on the coffee table, stacked on the floor, and stacked on the fireplace hearth. This doesn’t even begin to account for the many more magazines and books that I have accumulated in the closet ready to be examined again.
Thankfully, I am not the only one with this enthusiasm for plants and landscaping. Many of our growers know we are always searching for new and unusual plants. They even contact us when something interesting becomes available. We have great relationships with our growers. We take the time to visit their nurseries, sometimes spending days at one location. These passionate people open up their private botanical gardens for us to explore. We are like little kids looking at the collections of rare and exotic plants from around the world. Each one has a story. The owners know their histories and many of these plants have actually been created and given names on-site. These are known as “mother” plants from which all clones are produced. We have been fortunate enough to purchase some of the mother plants right out of the garden!
Our travels have also inspired me. While touring Canada, I had the opportunity to visit the Butchart Gardens in Vancouver. What an experience! It was absolutely gorgeous. It would be impossible to identify a favorite garden, but The Japanese garden was very special. I plan on using the theme for a garden at my own home. My travels to Great Britain allowed me to visit many distinctive properties. The most memorable was Hampton Court in Herefordshire. The long-term thought process that went into the garden design is brilliant. There are species examples planted over a thousand years ago, a maze of yew hedges and a beautiful rose garden. These visits stirred my interest and continue to inspire my own designs.
Each property and (more importantly) each owner has a unique identity. As I design, I take into account the motivations and influences of the owner and meld that with my own ideas and insights to create a plan that brings the property to its full potential. I am often inspired by my clients and that is what makes this job so interesting and rewarding. I get to create something for people that improves their lives and these interactions keep my passion alive.