Friday, July 16, 2010

Prunus Laurocerasus

Getting closer to finish my garden design course I feel becoming very popular amongst family and friends... ;-)
Everybody all of a sudden feels the urge to have his/her garden designed, or mostly just ask for help with this or that little problem.

Last week I was asked for my opinion about a nice non-see-through hedge. I suggested anything but prunus laurocerasus which- I was then told- is very modern and "IN" in Germany these days. (Maybe because it is so expensive?)

I just remembered my tutor who said: Use anything but this plant for a hedge as it looks awful when you cut it.

Well, people say you just have to trim it then with small sissors so you don't see the cutted leaves- who has the time for this?! especially if the hedge measures 30meters...

I wonder what your experience says: Good hedge plant- bad hedge plant?


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chaumont Garden Festival 2010

The International Garden Festival was created in 1992 around Chaumont Castle on the side of the Loire river. 
Every year it offers an tribute to garden design with a new theme that changes each year. This years topic was "Body& Soul".

The gardens are made by architects, designers or artists- often strange, entertaining, futuristic or really weird but nevertheless very inspiring. 
Trees are painted red, big pictures are hanging between them in the forrest, chairs are standing on top of a lake, a grand piano between an ocean of flowers while you listen to Jazz music...
Every garden is different, from very simple to absolutely incredible and unbelievable. It is worth going! And I will be back next year for sure.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

End of the Year Exhibition

In June we had our end of the year exhibition with more than 200 people visiting.
This years course had 16 students with all different backgrounds and nationalities. It was so interesting to see how we all interpreted the same tasks in a different way and how much each of us established an own style already.

The exhibition showed part of our sales portfolio that we can use after finishing this course for our own business. An external examiner came to judge the quality of the work which displayed a selection of all the work completed through the year: design exercises, 3 real gardens and their design including architectural and construction drawings in CAD, perspective and rendered drawings, planting plans, specifications, photography, history timeline and moodboards.

Project 1 was a tiny Oxford Courtyard Garden of a house build in the 1980's with first floor balcony, no existing link into the garden which made all of us decide to introduce a staircase that would make it easy to access the garden from the kitchen and living room.

Project 2 was a small 500square meter country garden in Oxfordshire requiring a new garage, workshop, conservatory and kitchen garden.

Project 3 was a 2.5 acre country garden in Oxfordshire with existing jacuzzi, party house and tennis court. The client requested a conservatory as well as a lake. It was a big challenge to achieve a nice and smooth link between house, jacuzzi and tennis court but I am very proud about my design (which the external examiner also pointed out :-) ) My nicest compliment was : "John Brooks would be proud of you." What else do I need?!

This link leads you to a video made by Duncan Heather, principle of the Oxford College of Garden Design:

A big thank you to all my class mates for all their support during this fantastic year in Oxford! It was great studying with you and I enjoyed the time a lot.
Also thanks to all our teachers, guest lecturers and supporters (Garden Design Guru Duncan Heather, Vice Principal Sally Court, Garden Designer Amanda Macrae, Architect Michael Reed, Vectorworks Lady Tamsin Slatter, Famous Garden Designer John Brookes, Horticulture Expert Chris Marchant and Orchard Dene Nurseries, Architect and Construction Expert John Heather, Artist Jo Chance, History Expert Alistair McVean, Main Organiser and Powerlady in the back Carol Heather) who made the impossible possible ;-)) to change a sport scientist into a garden designer ;-).

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