How we work

Working process

1 UNDERSTANDING

We start by seeking to understand the physical, cultural and historical aspects of a place and endeavour to spend as much time on site as possible. Only then do we start to gain an understanding of how a place is used, it’s shifting temporal character and a sense of the ‘genius loci’. We then ascertain the client and users’ aspirations and find creative ways to illustrate our findings. This process may be enriched by precedent visits to other relevant landscapes, gardens and nurseries.

2 IDENTIFYING

We identify valuable habitats and opportunities for new ones; important activities or significant cultural and historic trends and concentrate on any conflicts with the client’s or users’ aspirations to find a sensitive and imaginative design solution.

3 DESIGNING

Based on these findings and responses, we develop initial ideas, and work with the client, users and landscape to produce a final design solution or masterplan.

We believe that understanding the sense of place, how a space works and meeting the needs of its users is vital to creating a successful design.

We illustrate the character and atmosphere of a design through the use of perspective sketches, collages, photomontage, diagrams, overlays, precedent pictures and models.

Process

HABITAT CREATING

Habitats are rapidly diminishing in size, range and diversity and are becoming increasingly isolated. We look to create new habitats and enhance and protect existing ones at every opportunity, whether on a large scale by creating new woodlands, meadows and wetlands, or on a more intimate scale by encouraging clients to be less ‘tidy’ in their gardens. Our planting has an emphasis on native species, cultivars and other wildlife friendly plant species.

Process

GROWING

We like to encourage some element of food production, from allotments and communal growing areas to small raised herb beds. The UK has been identified as being heavily dependent on imports and oil for food production and as a society we are increasingly divorced from the sources our food comes from. Growing your own food, on whatever scale is fun, sociable, educational and cheap.

process

PLAYING

Play is the work of children and an escape for adults. Exploration, discovery and narrative are important elements in our designs. Landscapes and gardens should be stimulating and fun places to be for children and adults alike. Children’s play elements are integral to the landscape rather than ‘off the shelf’ products and seek to encourage adventure and creativity.

Process

GARDENING

We don’t see gardening just as a pastime for our private domestic clients. We see gardening as a benefit to public and communal projects too, involving people with the landscape and each other. Gardens are as much about people as the plants. Gardening engenders a sense of pride and ownership. It is social, educational and fun; putting people back in touch with their environment and the shifting seasons of the year.

Process

REFLECTING

Landscapes and gardens should have a variety of intensities and usages. There should be quiet, secluded places for contemplation and reflection, for relaxing and healing, for connecting with nature or for simply watching.

4 NURTURING

There is very little wilderness left. The vast majority of our landscapes are managed and have been moulded by our hand since Neolithic times. It is essential that projects are nurtured, managed and maintained. We engage with the client and users to develop comprehensive management strategies to ensure that a project is successfully established and has a future with the ability to evolve in response to changing circumstances.

5 LIVING

Places are for people. They are for living and working and playing in, passing through, and to observe from afar. They are for interacting and connecting and should be well used and well loved. We don’t believe in ‘keep off the grass’ signs!