Over the years we have worked on many communal gardens where we need to design a space that looks welcoming and creates a good atmosphere. The way that the place is perceived, greatly affects the way it ends up being thought about and used. So with a considered approach to how the space is used and maintained is key, whilst optimising the beauty to create a sense of well being, this will optimise the outdoor space for its users.
We recently acquired the long term project to restore a large Span Estate in Blackheath. A series of classic designed town houses, where the landscaping is key to the original intended use as well as the current brief to make things look great. We carried out our usual brief process and site survey and analysis, but we then spent a good amount of time researching this classic style of property and the thinking behind it. We were lucky enough at this stage to find a copy of the original landscape designers drawings and a few notes on the plant choices. This was not only fascinating to get under the skin of a designer years ago, looking into what plants were available and would’ve worked in a previous climate, but also to think about who would’ve lived there and how we could relate all of this to todays residents.
We managed to bring the design up to date by looking at what the desired effect would’ve been, and by using the plants available today, this helped to retain integrity to the original plan, but by using a palate that was modern and in some places elegant, we greatly soften the imposing structures in an sustainable way.
More recently, we have been asked to create a planting plan for the new Healing garden at Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske. The garden is for the use of intensive care patients, staff and families, in the hope to promote well being and a speedy recovery for the patients. This brief was similar to other public space projects where we needed to ensure absolute safety, low level maintenance and high impact planting that would work all year long… Watch this space for more.