Landscape & Urban Design: A Sense of Place and Space
Every landscape is different but when LgMM garden designer Mark Lane was asked to design a large private MBNHK garden for someone with access needs Mark’s personal circumstances made Mark Lane Designs the perfect choice.
Mark’s personal experiences, knowledge of and expertise for fully accessible gardens, whether for a private dwelling or for a public building, such as hospitals, disability charities, specialist units or rehabilitation centres, were brought together to create a “contemporary wild” garden.
The design focuses on access needs with full wheelchair turning circles, wide paths and views across borders, sometimes obscured, sometimes fully open, but creating a landscape that is fully inclusive.
A large stepped granite water feature is the centrepiece of the garden, influenced by the incredible water feature outside the Louis Vuitton Gallery in Paris.
Each angle has been measured to suit the incline of the site and designed by Mark to reflect the sun as the water cascades down. Small flecks of silver in the granite sparkle enhancing the clarity of the water.
Mark is the UK’s first recognised garden designer in a wheelchair and has been published in numerous journals and magazines and has gone on to be the first BBC gardening presenter in a wheelchair.
Mark’s practice Mark Lane Designs collaborates closely with architects, designers, artists, sculptors and craftsmen on a wide range of projects, to provide an individual, friendly and professional service offering high-quality, bespoke garden, planting and landscape design for small private or largescale public projects, an intimate little garden or a landmark outdoor facility.
Mark’s ethos is to create a garden or landscape that is a direct response to the architecture, topography and character of the landscape – a sense of place and space. His designs are functional, in-keeping with the surrounding environment, the wild space and its natural flora and fauna; building on integrated structures and the spaces between, in and around them.
The planting is full and abundant. Over 5,000 plants and 3,000 bulbs have been planted to create colour, texture, form and scent for 12 months of the year. Planting is loose and informal, but the planting plans have been carefully put together by Mark to give an almost wild experience – as if the plants have self-seeded across the garden.
Large bold blocks of colour have also been introduced, but following the Client’s aspirations the borders have been divided into: herb garden, blue and yellow garden, white garden, pink garden and a grasses garden. Mark is a plantsman and wherever possible chooses plants that are as close to the species type as possible.
He looks at the surrounding plants and the local environment and creates a landscape specific for an individual site.
Building in layers Mark’s landscapes comprise shrubs and trees, herbaceous perennials and grasses, climbers, bulbs, corms and rhizomes that work together.
Hidden white LED lighting illuminates the landscape at night making the garden appear to float.
Influenced by the colours and flora of the Kent countryside for this project Mark has created an enticing and exciting landscape, and although designed for access needs it is foremost a garden with a sense of place and space.