In garden design practice, it is important to start with the right spirit since the beginning: a valid concept guarantees good quality of finished works.
The first phases in garden design are a key moment for the entire design process. In that phase, in facts, future developments are defined and from those depends the success of the project. Because of this, defining a solid concept is really important for us, when we are designing a garden. A valid concept must be able to defend its own solutions, and to be developed without having incurred in changes so deep that the general idea behind the garden design has become unrecognizable.
GARDEN DESIGN: STYLE
Thanks to its scenic location over an hill, inside the woody hills of Chianti, the design spot immediately appeared as bearing great potentialities from a landscaping point of view. So we decided to design a contemporary style garden, whilst keeping and open dialog with local traditions. After the first survey we analyzed the location’s “genius loci”, choosing the features which where most useful to get an inspiration and to develop our ideas.
Plants and materials that were already there have inspired us in choosing the design solution that were the most suitable to express the full potential of a place that, for that matter, was already characterized by an intrinsic beauty. The contemporary style of our design contributes, in this regard, to enrich a context that already showed interesting sparks. During the summer of 2015 the concept reached its final form, becoming the basis for the entire landscaping design, completed in the spring of 2016.
DESIGNING A GARDEN: THE CONCEPT
A beautiful garden has to be planned with care since the beginning. We want to share with you some thoughts that we have learned with our experiences.
When a garden is designed, every client has to be approached in his own way. It’s often not immediately evident where the right path is. In this project, we felt that to capture the client’s trust, the most suitable artistic media was a freehand drawing.
By the use of a digital drawing tablet, and by the use of the pictures that were taken during the surveys, we have fabricated some romantic views, that were able to let the client see the potential for the place, and at the same time, let him see our design idea. Thanks to those drawings, the design got off on the right foot, and the garden was built without any change to what was the preparatory work.
How much those drawings have been fundamental to the final result of the garden is obvious once you see them. The garden follows accurately (except few minor details) the free hand draft. The draft in fact contained every element that was needed to obtain trust from the client, and at the same time, the sparks needed to develop in detail the project solutions. Moreover, the solutions where actually feasible, and this allowed to reach the realization, without deviating from the original idea.
DESIGNING A GARDEN: CONSTRUCTION
Being present in the construction site, and having a good standing with the companies involved on the building site is fundamental: the correct material and plant selection are strongly influenced by how much time the designer spends in the nursery and on the building site as work supervisor.
The coherence between project and finished work in fact isn’t assured. In practice, in fact, is very common that the design development may incur in schizophrenic phases, driven by client’s fickleness; and potential problems range from apparently good design choices in preliminary phases, but that later shown themselves as practically infeasible; to the extreme of true judgment errors, that can lead to the complete distortion of the initial idea. And it is important when the risk of a distortion of the design shows up, to be able to defend the original idea.
DESIGNING A GARDEN: CONCLUSIONS
Finally, to obtain a good garden design it is important to follow those recommendations:
- Deal with the first phases of the work with the right amount of insight, trying to understand client desires;
- Analyze the genius loci to establish a dialogue between the design and the state of the place, and to define a concept which can be successfully and coherently inserted in the design context;
- Choose an artistic media which allows to engage the client, and to establish the foundations for an feasible design, whose success is guaranteed;
- Take the great care in choosing plants and materials, and spend the needed time on the building site to ensure that design and results will be coherent.
More details about this project are available on our website.
Landscape Architect, Project Manager
Graphic arts specialist and garden enthusiast, Daniele started his career studying as a forest engineer, only later becoming an expert in landscape architecture. He specialized in garden and landscape design at different scales