I strongly believe that gardens that resonate with emotion are those that radiate the personality of their owners.
This makes garden making fairly easy for someone who is building a garden for themselves but for garden designers it poses an additional rung on the ladder that must be firmly grasp and felt.
There is a lot of investigated site analysis that must be discovered and solved before a garden designer can set pencil to paper in preparation for the design.
After the technical challenges have been addressed then exploring what is going to create the heart and soul of the project begins.
This explorative process is a highly interpersonal relationship between the designer and the homeowner.
It takes a special set of skills to gently extract information without being intrusive into the life of your client.
Recently I had the honor to work with a homeowner who has an exquisite collection of fine Asian interior artefacts.
In our conversation together I found that all the artefacts had been passed down through the family over several generations.
Most every item throughout the interior of the house had deep personal emotional attachment and meaning.
As I was developing the design for the outdoor terrace I had a distinct feeling that something was missing.
It occurred to me that this was the only room in the home that did not reflect any real personal history with family as did the rest of the rooms in the house.
My client and I discussed this sense of emptiness with one another and from this conversation came the realization that there was a deeply loved family buddha that could be sent from Asia to United States that could be placed in the garden to bring a sense of loving family memory into the garden room.
This is the heart of residential garden design, - getting to know your client on a level that you both feel comfortable with so you can help them emote a sense of personal expression.
detail of the interior light in the buddha niche
detail of the recessed strip lighting in the ipe wood molding
Hand carved Balinese stone pots at the corner that screen the low voltage lighting timer, irrigation timer, hose bib, and venting panel.