For the past month, in between winter design work, I’ve been preparing a show house garden. This biennial charity event, The Mansion in May, is a big deal in my neck of the woods and interior designers and landscape designers/architects are invited to compete for spaces. Why compete? First to support the charity–this year the recipient is the Valerie Center for Children with cancer and blood disorders–a cause close to my heart. Second, it’s great exposure to both the 20,000+ people who visit during the month of May.
In January, we were invited to choose a space from a master plan and submit our ideas to the selection committee. Like most sites, there were several sweet spots–not what I was interested in though. Away from the house was ruined rockery that I was immediately drawn to.
I was able to look at some historic photos of the property and found one of two very Edwardian ladies sitting in front of a wildly planted rock garden. Upon closer inspection, the pile revealed some secrets–animal burrows and two parts of a Japanese granite planter. The base is shown below.
I re-imagined the ruined rockery to create a sustainable garden for the 21st century. Lush native and ecologically appropriate non-natives with low water and maintenace requirements, stone sculpture and renewable energy sources are key elements of the overall design. I also wanted to honor the property’s past gardeners, collectors and dreamers, so the ultimate design is a fusion of Japanese, Mediteranean and Edwardian influences.
My next post will show the plan and planting scheme.