On the first date with a landscape architect

Last time, we focused on how to choose the “right” architect, who will be best able to put your ideas and wishes into practise. Now comes the first working meeting. The landscape architect, Ferdinand Leffler, will now tell you what you can expect from your garden and advise you on what the very first meeting with a landscape architect should look like, what questions you should prepare for the professional and what you can expect from him.


Last time, we focused on how to choose the “right” architect, who will be best able to put your ideas and wishes into practise. Now comes the first working meeting. The landscape architect, Ferdinand Leffler, will now tell you what you can expect from your garden and advise you on what the very first meeting with a landscape architect should look like, what questions you should prepare for the professional and what you can expect from him.



Pay attention to how the landscape architect acts and to what kind of a person he/she actually is. First of all, ask questions, but let the architect start talking. You should take notice whether he/she is able to listen to you and how he/she perceives you and responds to your requests.


WHERE TO START

“Make an appointment on the grounds that you are dealing with the chosen designer. Only then will you be able to see the professional in action; it is probably the last moment when you can back out before signing a contract of cooperation, if you find that the choice was not quite correct. Watch how the landscape architect acts and what he is like. Ask questions and let him start talking. At the same time, you should notice, if he is able to listen to you and how he perceives and responds to your requests. The best thing is if you have a list of wishes and ideas ready and you are able to describe exactly how you think the garden design should look,“ says the landscape architect, Ferdinand Leffler.

You can prepare for this meeting by sitting together with the other members of your family at the table and thoroughly discussing the wishes of all the garden’s future users. Do not underestimate the opinion of the youngest or oldest participants. Consider all the aspects involving pets. Ask who will spend the most time in the garden. Feel free to put even the most daring and apparently unwieldy ideas into early discussions. This can say much about the quality of the landscape architect – his job is to help you streamline your dreams, so that they take real shape.


Water as a mirror, a footbridge and a story that invites you to walk around the garden. The combination of natural materials and simple shapes; such is the symbolism of modern garden architecture.



GARDENSHIT

“The owner wanted to experiment and to put in some common sense solutions. This is commendable, but on the other hand we are of the opinion that this has led to a kind of mockery of folk art and the result does not look steady. The stumps will certainly have a shorter lifetime than the terrace… and then what?“

www.gardenshit.cz



YOU CAN WISH ANYTHING

A garden is not just a grassy area planted with screening vegetation around the perimeter. It’s actually your biggest living room which offers some mysterious nooks, space to play and relax and maybe some surprises too. “It may be that you can even find a source for your kitchen there: delicious fresh fruit from the fruit and vegetable garden will provide a totally different gourmet experience; it is not a bad idea to have a couple of small sprigs of herbs always at hand. Thanks to the flower bed, the creation of a floral decoration prior to any hastily announced visit will never be a problem,“ is how the experienced landscape architect points out some extra benefits. The game elements dedicated to children could constitute a separate chapter.

Of course, they should not interfere with the proposed concept and mood of the whole, but they often dominate … especially during the first few years before the greenery grows up a little bit. Do not underestimate the selection of the place, as well the selection of particular elements. Fortunately, a sandbox need not be just a boring box full of sand, but it could be an “infinite” beach naturally integrated into the curves of the planned beds. Also think of yourself. Treat yourself to a place where you can relax, even when listening to a small water feature. Or do you like to have fun at a cheerful party? Light a fire in the open fireplace from time to time and maybe you will be able to chat with your friends as never before.


You can enjoy a bonfire not only at a summer camp. Treat yourself while sitting by the fire with a sausage and a guitar on every warm summer evening.



GARDENSHIT

The FLERA STUDIO’s commentary: “Landscape architecture has teemed with multi-coloured gravel, coloured bark and wooden chips in the recent years. The effect is immediate and acts as a significant change. However, well-chosen plants providing a natural composition are more critical for the final form of the beds.“



A GARDEN FOR AN ENVIRONMENTALIST, A MAN OF WEALTH OR A SPORTSMAN?

Some practical requirements are equally important. Do you make compost? Do you like to dry washed clothes in the fresh air? How do you get firewood? Where can you dry it? Are you thinking about getting a dog? Do you place a doghouse in your garden? Do you have a penchant for art? Your garden is the largest and most natural gallery. It can provide a suitable background and underline the story, which tells something of the work. If you are one of those people who are looking for a more active form of relaxation, you may prefer some sort of outdoor gym. Or you may find a patch out of the wind, where it would be possible to place a ping-pong table.

Do you think that you would like to install pool in the future? Don’t keep this to yourself. “Your garden designer should take such a dominant feature into account in his/her planning and prepare a garden draft of both, in terms of privacy and aesthetics, as well the possible handling of materials during the time of its construction,“ says Ferdinand Leffler. In short, you can unleash your imagination and attentively watch whether the landscape designer or architect is able to cope with it. Only then will you be able to decide after the very first date with a landscape architect, if it makes sense to arrange another one…


A sandbox does not only have to be a boring “wooden box“ filled with sand.



GARDENSHIT

The FLERA STUDIO’s commentary: “We do not usually have anything against stone walls, but enough is enough … this reminds me of castle fortifications; this kind of element is definitely not appropriate in satellite urban communities.“

www.gardenshit.cz



Ferdinand Leffler | Flera Studio

Ferdinand Leffler

Ferdinand Leffler is a garden architect and designer and the founder of the Flera studio. He selects careful, reliable and creative architects for his team. He will help you to come up with a garden which is made to measure to meet your requirements and needs and so that you feel good in it: “We are advocates of the fact that the architecture of a property should express a story which has a beginning, gradation and a point… The garden should arise from the consistent interconnection of all the elements, functions and motifs which the client’s requirements bring to it and it should have a single author.


Home Architect 04/2013 | Atelier Flera

Source: Home Architect 04/2013
Managing editor: Dominika Záveská
Text: Atelier Flera
Foto: Atelier Flera, Thinkstock, www.gardenshit.cz


Selected article

Splněný sen o přirozené zahradě | Bydlení 03/2013

A dream comes true in a natural garden

Let’s come to a place where in every tree could live a fairy or elf, where the air is thick with hazy mist and everything looks like it has been growing there a couple of hundred years.

Selected testimonials

Petr Lesák

Our very first meeting - as well the following ones – was a flowery concert full of fragrant descriptive ideas on what my “private oasis” could look like and how it could bloom, impress. - all testimonials

Mr. Petr Lesák