Rose-tinted grasses is a garden design practice covering London, Kent and the South East of England, owned by me, garden designer Saul Abbott.
When it comes to garden design, my entire concept can be summed up in this one sentence; to create the best garden possible that helps to change my clients' lives for the better.
The best way for me to execute this is to have as wide an understanding as possible of the principles and practices of garden design and to have an as up-to-date as possible knowledge of both plants and hard-landscaping materials, as well as products and brands. I do this by spending most of my waking hours reading about, watching or visiting gardens. I guess you could say i love gardens!
My studies in garden design started with a City & Guilds course at Lewisham College in 2006 whilst working as a head gardener for a garden designer based in West London. Later, i studied at the more esteemed Capel Manor college which gave me the confidence in 2007 to undertake my first garden design commision in Stoke Newington, London.
Since that first garden design I have designed private and commercial gardens and spaces all over London and the South East, as well as in South of France, Eastern and Western Canada, the Netherlands and India.
With an added 15 years experience as a professional horticulturist and landscaper I have a deep understanding of all of the elements that make up a garden and I have used this knowledge in the past to teach horticulture and landscaping skills and techniques to young adults, as part of a previous role at an horticultural charity.
In terms of garden design, there are 4 key ingredients that, in my mind, constitute a well-designed garden:
Practicality - Gardens are primarily about people. Without interaction of some kind with people, a garden is just a space. Therefore if a garden is to work it needs to be used and for that to happen it needs to be practical, fulfilling the needs and desires of the user/users.
Longevity - A garden should stand the test of time, looking its best for many years after the installation, not just for the first year or two.
Strong seasonal interest - There should be something to enjoy in every month of the year, not just in the high-usage months.
A sense of place - A garden should feel like it belongs within the space it inhabits and work with both the man-made and natural surroundings. Trends come and go but if the elements of a garden work with its surrounding environment, it will stand the test of time.
By focusing on these key points, when a garden design project is finished, i know that i will have done my job as a garden designer.
Outside of my passion for gardens, i manage to play the harmonica, collect music, cook a mean black bean dahl, search the world for a good hat, watch too many films, grow plants from seeds and cuttings and practice Vipassana meditation, heading to a 10-day silent retreat on an annual basis to further my practice.