Rose-tinted grasses is a garden design practice covering London, Kent and the South East of England, owned by me, garden designer Saul Abbott.
Gardens are my life. It's hard to put into words the amount of time someone dedicated to their field spends on their passion. I am studying garden designs and gardens all day, every day. I never stop studying, be it reading, researching, visiting, watching, listening, conversing or remembering. It's a constant. And although at times it can feel all-encompassing, I find that when i'm trying to take a break from thinking about gardens and garden design, it feels like something is missing. I guess that's how i know i have found my calling in life!
As an introduction to garden design i undertook a City & Guilds course at Lewisham College in 2006 whilst working as a head gardener for a garden design business based in West London. Later, i studied at the more esteemed Capel Manor 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 horticulturalist 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 the surrounding environment, it will stand the test of time.
By focusing on these key points, when your garden design is finished, i know that i will have done my job as a garden designer.