Jamie appeared on national TV as part ABC’s national gardening show ‘Gardening Australia’. The interview gives a real insight to the Clapham process, and includes footage from several featured Clapham Landscape projects.
The video is shot on location around Melbourne. If you are considering using Clapham Landscapes for your project this is an ideal way to get a sneak peak of what you can expect working with Jamie, and the quality of the end result.
Below is provided an overview of the video content:
Fact Sheet from Gardening Australia interview
Jamie feels that it’s a very rewarding experience to work and create something that’s going to grow past his lifetime. It’s a passion that he just can’t get away from – he loves it.
His first memories of working with plants are unloading semi trailers of plants from Queensland on Christmas Day for the family nursery, and thinking, “What a drag this is”. But that’s also where he picked up his passion for plants – he says it sort of got into his blood.
Jamie has always been a little bit different from most landscape architects, in that he is very hands on. He likes getting in there amongst it, getting dirty, and he also finds that it allows him to be dynamic in his approach to the whole design. It means that he doesn’t have to follow the initial design on paper “to the T”. If he’s on site and something feels better a certain way, then he can just go ahead and do it. He likes to be there when the plants turn up, just to “tweak” their placement.
Jamie has got his own likes and dislikes and particular styles he likes to follow, but it’s very client driven as well. The client’s the one that’s going to end up with the garden so he needs to work towards what they want.
The process Jamie follows is generally to do a couple of rough sketches. He also likes doing perspective illustrations of the intended concept. He finds that clients can more easily understand the design that he’s hoping to create for them if they see an illustration. It also gives him way of focusing on the boundaries and everything within the space, rather than just looking at it from above.
There is a trend at the moment towards repetitious planting. Jamie tends to use it quite a lot because he doesn’t like creating what he calls ‘fruit salads’, where everything’s mashed in together, there’s a clash of colours and so many things going on that the eye can’t rest peacefully anywhere. He feels that the human sense of peacefulness tends to come out of subtlety.
An example of what happens when he works with architects from the early stages of a project is one job where a house had been created with a large Spanish influence. Jamie took a lead from them and put a Spanish garden out the front. Of all the projects he’s done, this one would have to be one of his favourites. A couple of years ago he travelled to Spain and studied some of the Moorish gardens there – in particular the ‘Alhambra’, where there are a lot of water rills, and cumquats Citrus japonica.
The Spanish-style design he created has water rills and terracotta pots lined up. Out the back, around the swimming pool, there are advanced olive trees Olea europaea, surrounded by lavender Lavandula angustifolia, which is another Mediterranean planting and very drought-tolerant. Jamie says that one of the best attributes of this garden is how it looks as night falls. There’s multiple lighting all the way throughout, all the major features and colonnades are highlighted, the pond’s lit from within, the water rill lights up and it becomes quite a magic place.
Another favourite garden of Jamie’s is one that had a two fold design brief. The first part was to provide an interesting entrance, so as the visitors come through the gate they’re greeted with a water feature. The second side of the brief was to provide an interesting garden to be viewed from above. So what he tried to do was to work this garden almost like a painting and provide different panels of colour and texture.
Jamie’s used star jasmine Trachelospermum asiaticum as a ground cover which works really well, and then there are dogwoods punching out of that, which have beautiful red stems in the middle of winter. They, in turn, work well with the ‘Senkaki’ Japanese maples Acer palmatum, that also have red stems.
Jamie has found, over the years, that it’s best not to be influenced by any one particular designer or style. He likes to read the space that’s on offer and take his lead from there, using the landscape’s natural aspects. The house sitting within the garden is also quite important as it and the garden have to connect harmoniously.
Jamie feels it’s very important to think down the track – 5, 10, even 20 years. Gardens aren’t just for the next couple of years. He likes to think that he’ll be able to go back and visit most of his gardens in 20 years and they’ll still look fantastic and will continue to do so.