Designing ideas

16:00, Jan 18 2013

Sometimes it seems that there are so many options available to us - which is of course true - but as one sorts the chaff it becomes clear that there may only be one solution.

This solution, as a design exercise, is very often a compromise that delivers us what we need in a single stylish concept.

Compromise is a common word these days. What we want is not necessarily what we can afford - so delivering an intelligent solution that delivers a mixture of what we need and what we want should be the primary concern of good designers.

Perhaps the most important thing about good design is that it needs to function properly. This is as true for an engineering solution as it is for a lifestyle solution - such as your garden. If your garden does not function properly it means that you will not be able make best use of a large asset and it will mean less free time for you.

Poorly designed solutions require more upkeep and maintenance. I love a challenge.

Some gardens are simple to design - classic and timeless plant choices and symmetrical designs.


These look fabulous but are they very challenging - not really. Some gardens are harder to design, mimicking nature or creating a unique original environment, and are far more challenging, offering the designer and, I think, the owner more.

These more challenging gardens are often the ones found on magazine covers or the ones that win the prizes as they are ground breaking in design and implementation.

This year the Ellerslie Flower Show in Christchurch will no doubt be over subscribed with visitors and we'll all be crammed in like sardines in a tin. But hopefully there will be some awesome, thought provoking and ground breaking designs for us all to appreciate.

Every single individual element in a garden, like in all things where the sum of the object is a combination of many individual elements, it is only as good as its weakest link. Every element needs to be well considered and conceived.

It must relate on so many scales and on every dimension.

Truly original design is something to behold and encourage. Repeating greatness is not the same creating greatness. I think originality and the thought processes that are essential to it are at the core of every great garden.

So for the new year ahead I want to push the boundaries a bit more with some original thought provoking columns that will inspire my readers to garden greatness and reflect some of the very interesting work that we will be doing around the province and further afield.

In Marlborough we are somewhat excluded from the wider world of design and the modern, ground breaking thought that creates it.

I hope to be able to bring you some very interesting solutions to your garden design problems. So what is the best solution for your own garden problem? It is a simple but effective one that crosses all your T's and dots all your I's. Your solution is as unique as you are.

It must fit your lifestyle perfectly.

Here's to a great 2013.

The Marlborough Express