A few thoughts on making gardens.


Robert Boyle landscape Design

It is for more than 50 years now that I have been afforded the great privilege of not only designing, but also creating and bringing to life an abundance of beautiful and functional landscapes.  While the diversity of garden styles, locations, property sizes and client expectations continues to challenge and inspire me, my single objective in designing each garden is to ignore the current fads and trends and to create an inspiring and refreshing sanctuary specific to the wants and needs of each of our clients and their unique parcel of land.

When first sitting down to consider a garden for a new client, sitting actually plays a very minor role.  My team and I visit each site at different times of day, weather conditions and seasons.  We consider the existing views – both into and out of the property.  We take note of environmental conditions such as climate, soil, existing vegetation, exposure to both nature and man-made elements and the availability of water.  We meet with as many members of the family as we can, as each family member will have a very unique viewpoint and wish list.  We discuss practical concerns such as budget and preparedness for ongoing care and maintenance, but more importantly we try to garner an understanding of our clients’ specific sources of inspiration.  Inspiration can come from such a wide array of both practical and emotive places -  from childhood memories of a winding gravel path through an ‘enchanted forest’ to the scent of a specific rose, to the formality of a parterre garden visited during a family holiday in Europe.

As designers, it is then our privilege to combine all of these technical, scientific, aesthetic and personal influences to create a garden.  The built elements and the earth form are very important elements of each garden; however it is the plants, especially the trees, that give lasting character to a home and garden.  Plants create a place of beauty, they evoke memories, enrich lives and provide health, food and sustenance to our bodies, minds and spirits. 

In 1969 my grandparents handed me a most wonderful gift – the just re-published Edna Walling ‘A Gardener’s Log’. 
The pages, marked with time and dirty thumb prints, offer a glimpse of just how this much loved guide continues to be a source of inspiration and  education to me.  Each morning I still get excited about the possibilities and opportunities before me and I wonder if there can be any more fulfilling a task than to spend the time to make a garden, to nurture it, and then to wait and watch it grow and flourish over the years as it slowly creates the pictures and the beautiful environment initially imagined.

Acmena Firescreen - Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle Landscape Design - Acmena Firescreen Hedge

Robert Boyle Landscape Design - Private garden Shoreham