Gardening - Leigh Clapp meets designer Annie Guilfoyle
PUBLISHED: 08:33 27 October 2010 | UPDATED: 18:05 20 February 2013
Sussex garden designer Annie Guilfoyle revals her contemporary style, simple layouts and influences
Designing a garden requires careful planning, creativity and flair, along with expert structural and plant knowledge. Although your garden is your own space, and for many a true passion, you may need some assistance from a professional with its design. November is a good time to reassess your garden and plan any changes or additions.
Sussex has a wealth of wonderful garden designers. Annie Guilfoyle is one of them. She is the director of Creative Landscapes, a garden design consultancy based in Midhurst and is Landscape Design Director at KLC School of Design as well as Garden Course Consultant at West Dean College. Her work covers London and the South East for both domestic and commercial schemes, in rural or urban settings and has been featured on television programmes such as BBC Small Town Gardens.
Uniting Annies work is an interest in innovation and modern design. She explains: My preference is towards the contemporary style, and I prefer asymmetrical designs. I like to keep the layout simple and let the plants really do the work. Every site and every client is different. I do believe quite strongly that it is their garden and they are coming to me for help, so I will listen to what they want and not impose my ideas on to them.
After growing up on the wilds of Exmoor, embracing a love of the wild and rugged beauty of the area, Annie studied horticulture at Capel Manor College followed by an honours degree in Garden Design from Middlesex University. Influences in my work are art, architecture and the natural landscape, she adds.
To gain an insight into her style I visited the courtyard sculpture garden at the Zimmer Stewart Gallery in Arundel that she designed in 2004. Here a long, narrow sloping garden has been transformed into a series of secluded garden rooms. Each area offers just a tantalising glimpse into the next, encouraging visitors to explore and discover the garden, comments Annie.
As well as giving spaces to display pieces, this is a private garden to be enjoyed for relaxing and entertaining in by owners James Stewart and Johnny Zimmer. There is a patio area, a fabulous dining space framed with pleached pears, an area of casual decking and a storage area with a green living roof of sedums. By using a variety of sympathetic materials, such as reclaimed granite sets and Portland stone to complement the existing old flint walls, the garden fits comfortably into its historic context. The lines and layout give it a modern twist and allow the changing sculptural focal points to play their part. Planting is bold and architectural in muted shades with a wide variety of evergreens and long flowering perennials.
Annie Guilfoyle Creative Landscapes
Daisy Cottage, 40 Lutener Rd, Easebourne, Midhurst, W.Sussex, GU29 9AT
tel: 01730 812943
Zimmer Stewart Gallery
25 Tarrant St, Arundel BN18 9DG open Tues-Sat (10-5)
tel: 01903 885 867