Patton spent 20 years as a professional illustrator and has studied textile design - both influential in her eventual landscape design career. She takes inspiration from classical geometry and employing horizontal and vertical lines and planes to frame a view and lead the eye.
Patton, who now owns Amanda Patton Landscape & Garden Design and has 160 gardens to her credit, discussed the five elements of design with her audience:
Line directs our vision and where we look, leading our eyes round the space
Texture gives depth and allows a play with perspective
Colour provides mood
Atmosphere shows or accentuates form
Form allows the viewer to understand what he or she looks at as they try to recognise shapes - the most important aspect of design, according to Patton.
The designer explained that people read a line from left to right, so plant shapes can be placed to direct the eye through the garden with this in mind. Patton also said that before any designing begins it is important to ask what the designer is trying to achieve.
Patton especially likes creating semi-naturalistic plantings, employing perennial plants and grasses chosen for their ability to catch light and create good textural combinations when not in flower. Trees, hedges and clipped forms of box, yew and beech also figure structurally in her designs.