SWISS GARDENS

'The setting of a garden is very important and no more so than for the gardens I design in Switzerland around lake Lucerne – one of the most dramatic and spectacular lakes in Europe. Here, the relationship between a garden and the surrounding countryside requires an unpretentious and simple design, without the need for vibrant planting. Green is the predominant colour with foliage plants such as ornamental grasses, reeds, petasites and large feathery ferns. Natural, local materials are used in construction and native wild flowers are used in place of stiff hedges or strong barriers. Hard surfaces are softened by allowing gaps between stones or granite blocks for small alpines to grow.

'The eye is continually led to the surrounding views, by paths, randomly placed stepping stones or timber decks, and framed by plants or features. And water is the key element. By incorporating ponds, streams or rills into these gardens, I link them back to the lake, which acts almost like a large painted theatrical background.'

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