Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins
Laurie When the RHS suggested we did a Chelsea garden in 2007, I thought “wow – this is fantastic”. The trouble with architecture is that it takes so long to get a building up and running. With a show garden you can send a message out quickly. I love that energy. A show garden gives you the opportunity to really flex your design muscles. I love the idea that people trust you to get on with the design. As a student, I discovered the work of to Gertrude Jekyll. I live near Godalming in Surrey so I know all her gardens. The link between the architect Edwin Lutyens and her gardens is something I’ve grown up with. I regret the fact that in the commercial world architects and landscape architects don’t work together enough.
Patrick Our Chelsea gardens have all been on the Triangle site, where there is no backdrop so you have to create a strong architectural element as the main focus. Laurie develops that and I develop the planting and landscaping. The challenge at Chelsea is trying to create something original. With the plants it could be the use of an unfamiliar or new cultivar, or using familiar species in a more unconventional way. I have been inspired by American landscape architects, such as Bernard Trainor, who always respond so beautifully to the location and character of a site. Their designs are inspired by nature but often incorporate strong architectural elements that give a very dynamic feel.
Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins’s bold architectural design features the circular Golden Symbol of Chengdu, which depicts the Sichuan legend of the Sun and the Immortal Birds.