Chris Beard­shaw

Gardens Illustrated Magazine - - Gardening Talent -

One of the big dif­fer­ences for me be­tween de­sign­ing a pri­vate gar­den ver­sus a com­mu­nity or pub­lic space is that in a pri­vate gar­den you are very much able to get to grips with who your client is, whereas in a pub­lic space I am act­ing as de­signer and client. Of­ten in a pub­lic space people are mo­ti­vated to be there for a very dif­fer­ent rea­son than we are in our own gar­dens.

In Green­wich Park, for ex­am­ple, the gar­den I de­signed is on an ax­ial route so people are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing it while jour­ney­ing from one end of the park to an­other. This re­quires it to be more am­bi­tious, more flam­boy­ant, to steal your attention away from the wider sur­round­ings. In con­trast my gar­den for Great Or­mond Street, which was last year’s Mor­gan Stan­ley show gar­den at Chelsea, be­came a green can­vas on which people could project their own emo­tions. The gar­den was de­signed to be re­built at the hospi­tal as a pri­vate and re­flec­tive space for par­ents and fam­i­lies of the chil­dren un­der­go­ing care, so it had to be a very quiet and in­ti­mate space.

I think it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to de­sign a gar­den well that doesn’t evoke all the senses. Of course the senses are not be­ing stim­u­lated to the same level in ev­ery part of the gar­den, all the time, and part of the great chore­o­graphic chal­lenge we have as de­sign­ers is to tem­per the re­wards we pro­vide, to de­cide which sense to trig­ger and where it’s go­ing to be most stim­u­lated.

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