It all starts with the first visit to see the site, talk over ideas and see what is possible. Establishing limiting factors such as budget and site access restrictions helps establish design parameters. Then there are all the contextual elements to take into account such as the type and style of property, the surrounding terrain and setting, your tastes and style and the ways you intend to use the grounds or garden or areas under consideration.
All this informs the design process and I go home with photos and wish lists and basic measurements to establish scale from which I can come up with a concept design proposal with an idea of the budget required to achieve it. Then we can look at whether to proceed either with a more established detailed design for an agreed fee or to start work based on the concept and agreed budget.
Matt and I work together on designs depending on their nature. I have an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in general Industrial Design and Matt has a specific Garden Design qualification.
Landscaping in the true sense where we alter the lie of the land whether it is forming level terraces or creating folds in the land or stone outcrops or lakes or caves, bridges, weirs - you name it we have done it!
It turns otherwise featureless areas into places of interest and intrigue that draws you in to walk through, sit by and play in.
We have our own new 2.6 tonne Kubota excavator and hire in larger machines as the project requires.
This is a distinct passion stemming from growing up in The Lake District where the raw geology of fells and crags and waterfalls and lakeshores is forever embedded as an inherent sense of natural aesthetic.
I have been nicknamed The Rock Whisperer as I have so often been observed working instinctively with large boulders combining them into outcrops that look as if they have always been there. They look so natural that people seeing them for the first time assume they have been uncovered in situ rather than brought in. We have exclusive access to a section of an old quarry in the Forest of Dean where the rocks are weathered over decades with moss and lichen on them further enhancing the ‘always been there look’ when installed. Introducing the element of stone to an area of land otherwise devoid as so much of The Cotswolds is due to the soft nature of the stone adds a missing ingredient that makes a real difference especially when it appears as bedrock poking through and ideally with a spring gushing forth amongst them.
We can be so far removed from the raw Earth in our daily lives that it has a deep and powerful affect on us to step outside and see and feel stone and water amongst the plants and trees right there. It is the perfect balancing antidote to stressful modern living.
Running or still water in a garden always adds a whole other element and enhances the experience of being out there. As soon as we create one the mesmeric nature of it affects everyone and we have to make an effort to turn away and get on with everything else otherwise we would just stop and be with it such is the calming effect.
Springs trickling out between rocks, stone outcrops along lake shores, waterfalls over crags with deep pools below all looking like they are part of the natural geology.
Favouring reclaimed York flagstones we bring down from a supplier now in neighbouring Lancashire and often using reclaimed walling stone we create paved terraces that fit the age and period of the property and so look original to when the house was built or in the case of newer buildings if appropriate become remnants of what was there before.
Our Head Gardener and Plantsman Matt Reid does all our planting schemes appropriate for the setting, style of garden and your preferences.
Matt’s work for Landart Gardens is informed by over 20 years of hands-on practical gardening experience combined with an in-depth knowledge of plants and English garden history.
He has a first degree in Art and Design History and a diploma in Horticulture and Estate Maintenance. He then went on to become the head gardener at several large historical estates in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. His passion for creating beautiful gardens led him to graduate in Garden Design with a distinction from the Cotswold Gardening School in 2016.
Archie Thornycroft is the carpenter on our team who creates anything required in timber when only the best will do.
With more than 20 years experience as a carpenter and a full joinery workshop at his disposal, the timber creations Archie can offer are only limited by one's imagination. He has a wide range of experience and has worked on historic buildings such as Gloucester Cathedral as well as more contemporary projects.
With a passion for form and function and an eye for detail, Archie’s work is both beautiful and built to last. He will take our ideas and turn them into reality, from decking, pergolas and garden seating to entrance gates and timber-framed garden rooms and buildings.
“I have a passion for working with timber and have been very lucky to work on projects with clients that share this passion and appreciate the natural beauty of this material in all its forms”
Whenever there is some structural work in the grounds that is original to the property or even predates it harking back to some former use then we love to incorporate and build on that using reclaimed materials that match the property.
Restoring a rare rack Hill on the South facing slopes of Chalford Hill is a prime example of when we were chosen to rediscover the original lines of the drying terraces.
Gardens are natural havens for wildlife anyway but there are times when the plot has certain attributes that mean it has particularly valuable habitat potential for certain species and when this is valued by you and us alike we can prioritise making the most of the ecological potential and Bob Thornycroft is our resident ecologist to help in this regard.
The natural springs ponds and lakes we build are wonderful for aquatic life and are rapidly colonised with amphibians often before we have finished building them!
Given the dire loss of habitat and the ever increasing general destruction of wildlife everywhere we support Mission Lifeforce and are signatories of the Earth Protector’s Trust Fund.