Elements of Natural Wonder
Designing with nature is a co-creative experience. One in which our own desire to create something new or recreate something reminiscent from our past, is in balance with the gifts and restraints of the natural environment we are given to work with, including elements like climate, sun and soil.
In my own gardens, I always allow a little room for nature to lend her graceful hand in my designs. When we allow some room for the unexpected to occur, nature steps into the dance with vigor and beauty, yielding the most surprising and sometimes, breathtaking results.
Whether this may be the appearance of a sweet blur of blue Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) at the edge of a gravel path, or perhaps the feathery seeds of a beloved plant mysteriously transported and established in a perfect spot in the garden by birds or by the wind.
In my pursuit of designing with nature, I have been greatly inspired by the naturalistic plantings and superb design work of landscape and garden designers, Piet Ouldof of the Netherlands, and Dan Pearson of the United Kingdom.
Two more horticultural heros are the late, lovely Beth Chatto, who created Beth Chatto Gardens in Essex, and the late, magnificent Christopher Lloyd, of Great Dixter, East Sussex, UK.
Each of these four plantsmen, authors, visionaries and designers share a reverence for the natural world.
Their designs and plantings do not impose themselves upon the landscape, instead I believe they endeavor to work in concert and in balance with nature. This is something which I greatly admire and aspire to in my own work.