When I was a student I was lucky enough to meet Rosemary Verey. I already knew her garden at Barnsley House quite well because I had visited with my family and poured over her book Making of a Garden. She has created a beautiful English garden in the Cotswolds.
Meeting her with fellow students was quite an experience.
She welcomed us into her conservatory and held court there like the Queen Mother. We were completely in awe of her. Although elderly and frail her mind was sharp and she was witty and entertaining. She was a real character, generous with her time and her knowledge.
She was interested in us and asked questions about our training and experience and in turn we were allowed to ask her opinion. We asked what advice she would give to new Garden Designers.
Garden Design is an art form like many other avenues of creative self expression she said. She accepted that we could quickly pick up practical techniques at college such as measuring, surveying and drawing plans but that our creative style was much more personal and this takes time to emerge. It was up to each of us to develop our own unique style she insisted.
Some of us were already well on the way. We were creative and experienced enough to already have a distinctive and individual style. Others needed more guidance and asked
What can you do to develop your own style?
• Visit gardens at different times of the year.
• Look at the details in the garden, the plants, the materials and the structure.
• Keep a Garden Journal to take note of those details.
Use photographs, sketches and notes to record information so you can review it later.
• Discover what you like and what you dislike.
• Develop your knowledge of plants over time and through the seasons.
This is good advice whether you are a Garden Design Student or a Garden Owner wishing to make a few changes or completely redesign your own garden. Hope it helps! Gillian 😉