All my designs commence with the vegetation. Whichever internet site I’m doing the job on — right here it’s Hauser & Wirth’s new gallery in Minorca, Spain — I 1st master about what palette of species will increase well in that local climate and soil. At the time I have a listing of solutions, I then glance at matters like framework and seasonality. As a garden designer, I operate with vegetation, not paint, and my approach is about composition and how things establish. Time is such a big issue in what I do. A garden is not like an exhibition, which is mounted for just a couple of months the plantings ought to go on to evolve over decades.
The Hauser & Wirth gallery’s at its busiest throughout the summer months, when most Mediterranean species are previous their finest, so we had to be imaginative about the varieties that we applied. The final result is a blend of crops that deliver framework and texture, and bouquets such as euphorbia, echium, helichrysum and agapanthus. In this graphic, I’m revisiting the task following the inaugural period to see what is doing work and what we need to edit. A garden’s hardly ever ready.
Plants and gardening became a wholesome obsession for me in the 1970s right after I still left my parents’ restaurant organization and bought a task at a nursery. At that time, the way folks approached green spaces was highly ornamental, labor intense and formal. But I was fascinated in how gardens could be a lot more delicate to their setting and much more spontaneous in their composition. The nursery my wife, Anja, and I developed at Hummelo in the Netherlands in the 1980s was made hand in hand with my style work, giving me obtain to a broader array of vegetation, specific kinds of perennials and grasses that experienced formerly been really hard to resource. It permitted us to join to growers throughout Europe. We had been intrigued in how we could use species that’re perfectly suited to their area, and in a naturalistic way. By way of this process of structure, we opened people’s eyes to other factors of crops outside of bouquets. There’s elegance in a seed head in winter, and in the chicken feeding on that seed head. A large amount of my projects — for case in point, the High Line in New York, which I did with James Corner Subject Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro — are community, and within these areas you can see how site visitors now engage with the natural environment. People are more and more informed of how crucial gardens and vegetation are to us as human beings.
For my component, I’m just undertaking my ideal and functioning challenging. To have had the affect I have had is tough to recognize, as I continue to come to feel like I’m concentrated on the concepts, which are fundamentally very intellectual and ecological. But plants have often been a device for me to convey my innermost thoughts, and so I’m extremely at household in what I do. I just preserve likely till I really feel satisfied and satisfied. I see myself as a mixture of an artist and a craftsman: I require a consumer so that I can do my function, but I know that what I bring to a challenge is one of a kind, and that I have a strong signature. What we do as garden designers is superbly complicated, and there’s an art to that complexity.
This interview has been edited and condensed.