Lau­rie Chet­wood and Patrick Collins

Gardens Illustrated Magazine - - Gardening Talent -

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.

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