Landscape architects must embrace 'broader planting palette'

Landscape architects need to learn about less familiar plants to create more inspiring public spaces, according to Eden Project designer, Dominic Cole.

Pileostegia, an alternative to the Hydrangea - photo: Eden Project
Pileostegia, an alternative to the Hydrangea - photo: Eden Project

“We need to be more canny about the types of plants we are considering using because landscape architects tend to use a relatively limited range at the moment,” explained Cole.

“It is time landscape architects learned a bit more about the range of plants and what they can do.

“There really should be a much stronger relationship between designers and growers.

“We should be getting organised and considering a wider range of plants that tend not to be grown commercially.”

Land Use Consultants principal Cole is set to speak on the subject of a ‘broader planting palette’ at a soft landscape workshop at Palmstead Nurseries in Kent today (10 September).

The workshop is part of a three-day landscaping series aimed at garden designers, contractors, landscape architects, public space managers, and even developers.

Yesterday’s event examined Garden Space, while today’s will focus on Public Space, and tomorrow’s New Places and Spaces.

“There are a lot of fears being raised about us no longer having English gardens and plants but in the UK we have the climatic conditions to grow a wider range of plants than pretty much anywhere else in the world,” added Cole.

Cole said using Evergreen climber pileostegia rather than hydrangea at the Eden Project was an example of specifying a plant not widely commercially available.

Also speaking at the seminar today is arboricultural consultant and public space manager Clive Mayhew, and City of Westminster head of parks service John Tweddle.

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