While we strive to liberate the compactness of urban pockets with oversized elements which emancipate some spatial outdoor breathing space, the colossality of expansive landscape gardens entails a wholly broader, more sustainable and especially integrative design mindset. Conversely, the visual potencies of small-scale gardens provide many useful ideas, methods and details – pertinently interchangeable with large-scale design blueprints. From the intimately compartmental to the vastly panoramic, designs for large gardens embrace interrelated plexuses of substructures, gradients, surface permeability, irrigation, drainage, retaining walls, viewing platforms, focal points, biodiversity and residentiary wildlife seasonally, transitionally and architecturally. These comprehensive infrastructures not only strengthen the nexus of nature, place and determined individual foresight, but also enlighten an ecological and highly multidisciplinary landscape design dialogue.
A remarkable view of pure natural beauty is more often than not the key driver when recceing for a place to settle in. Intendedly selected as a contrastive backdrop for modern architecture, this ultimate vista naturally fulfils particular affiliations with a much-loved topography, either subliminally, situationally, or by way of life. However scenically compelling, every unique site in its raw terrain, landform and natural landscape necessitates design manipulation, be it discreet, enhancive or fiercely structural. From the undulating steep slopes of an Italian lakeside residence to the monotonous flatscape of an Essex estate, or the verdant vantage points of a Highgate hillside mansion, we carve out liveable space by manufacturing utilitarian niches, grading slopes into contoured terraces, framing vistaed panoramas with man-made and green architectures, while organising handy sequences to forge accessibility, maintainability and human integrality.
Topographically speaking, the colossal earthworks we undertake to enable enjoyment of large-scale landscape gardens manifest exterior transformations unlike any other architectural design discipline; their intriguing facets regionally nuanced, sculpturally lyrical, ambitiously technical and environmentally recyclable. Challenged by monumental excavations, the fervent exploration of place, space and scale in all its curative, augmentative and reassuring attributes readily unearths our intuitive as well as experimental design methodologies within the limitless perimeters of expansive landscaping projects. Fluid surfaces, foliar contrasts, tactile textures, picturesque seating areas, protective hideaways and familiar scents all comprise multi-sensory, connective experiences through proportional zonality, design openness, inspiring clients and the capable hands of well-versed construction crews.
Underrated, underutilised and illogically untapped, native plants restore, rebalance and replenish indigenous habitats – particularly in large landscape gardens. While countless European gardens represent a horticulturally colonial, rather immovable viewpoint, these home-grown floras maintain biotic symbiosis and crucial wildlife resources as ecological intermediaries with round-the-clock fodders synced to a silent, yet fatal, environmental hourglass running out of time. With a plummeting immanence of domestic plant species, and an increased irrational innateness to introduce far-flung vegetations, we ought to strive for a copious yet balanced cascading coverage of verdancy in a wilder and more nurturing ambience through the proactivity of native planting; its relevance and momentousness propelling a discourse of biological unavoidability and an eco-friendly recovery.