Society of Garden Designers Conference

Nurture, not Nature

From the SGD....

Five internationally acclaimed garden and landscape designers will speak at the Society of Garden Designers’ Spring Conference on Saturday 28 March 2009. Exploring the thought provoking theme “Nurture, not Nature” will be Jinny Blom, Erik Dhont, Ulf Nordfjell, Tim Rees and Roberto Silva.

Garden design is rooted in the most elemental formative experiences: local climate and topography, cultural uses of space and response to nature, the myths and metaphors of one's mother tongue. The international success of our speakers is founded on unique perspectives rooted in their country of origin, fused with universal concerns and influences. These are designers who acknowledge their cultural heritage whilst simultaneously reinterpreting it to create new meanings for new audiences. What are the differences in response to nuances of meaning through cultural reference, between audiences at home and abroad? Is meaning lost in translation, or do the cultural layers maintain their richness? Our speakers will explain how their own particular cultural experience manifests itself in their work, and the challenge of using this to make sense of the landscape in another, perhaps less familiar, culture of identity and place.

Jinny Blom ’s projects, all characterised by elegant planting, are mostly in the UK, ranging from contemporary roof terraces to Cotswold gardens and Scottish highland estates.

Flemish landscape designer Erik Dhont ’s practice is centred on Brussels, though he frequently works in Holland, Germany and Switzerland, and is now becoming known in the USA.

Ulf Nordfjell is perhaps best remembered in the UK for his homage to Linnaeus which won Best Show Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 2007.

Tim Rees ’ London based practice Trees Associates is engaged in an international range of projects, including several private gardens in the Mediterranean.

Roberto Silva originates from North-East Brazil; he trained in the UK as a landscape architect, though mostly designs private gardens in London; he has reflected on Brazilian-ness in his book on Roberto Burle-Marx.

The event takes place at Imperial College in that London on Saturday 28 March 2009 and will be chaired by Dublin based landscape designer Hugh Ryan.

Tickets can be purchased from the administration office on 01989 566 695 and there's more information on their website