A year on and another group of talented students finish their final year of study on the 2 degree programmes – Landscape Architecture and Garden Design – run by Hadlow College and the University of Greenwich. These students have either studied full time on the 3 year programme or studied part time taking 4 years. They have their own public show at Hadlow College (see last year’s post here)  and a few (featured here) are invited to hang their work with students from the Diploma and Masters in Landscape Architecture and Garden History. The venue is the Queen Anne Court of the Maritime Greenwich Campus.

This year 2 sites were offered for the project work covering group and personal research (Place and Culture), master planning, detailed area and technical detailing.  The choice was between Jubilee Gardens (below), on the South Bank, and town park in Tunbridge Wells.

Jubilee Gardens suffers from the usual constraints of a city ‘void’  – pollution, wind, lack of  character, impingements of large surrounding buildings and facilities plus the impact of shade and microclimatic problems – and on the positive side, an opportunity to create a breathing space for many different users. Elena Ilieva’s concept for the master plan of this site . . .

. . and her plan at 1:200 showing amphitheatre event space, water course and main and secondary path network. And a section through the site showing structural and decorative tree planting.

Also Elena’s sketch view of one of her 1: 50 areas.

The other site on offer for the final design project was the steeply sloping park, Calverly Grounds, in Tunbridge Wells. Originally designed by Decimus Burton in 1830’s and now suffering from a lack of identity with little useful upkeep (focused on mow and blow) and gradual removal of significant elements both practical and aesthetic – the bandstand has long gone. The sterility of these images is a clear representation of the park as seen – there is a festival and other entertainments during the summer but little happens, due in part to poor  facilities, during the rest of the year.

Grant Beerling’s master plan at 1: 1000 showing his proposal for the plan and relationship to connecting elements. This kick satrted his ‘big idea’ and the title of his project  ‘Park Life’.

And a detail at 1: 200 showing water courses, paths through planting on shady bank and through colourful sunny aspect borders. The scheme at night with functional and decorative lighting.

Grant’s visuals to support his plans.

Adele Ford titled her proposal ‘The Source’. Evocative of the historic aquifers, a necessity for new town development in earlier centuries. The main terrace at the centre of her scheme at 1: 50 scale and section through clearly showing changes in level.

And a couple of 3 D views from Adele’s work showing the spatial character and how well selected tree species can bring personality and individuality to parts of the park.

Model at 1:200 scale by Alick Nee for his scheme for Calverly titled ‘A Rivus runs Through’ plus the ground plan at the the same scale.

The playful feel and the romantic option in a couple of sketches. . . .

. . . and a technically competent planting plan at 1:50 scale. Hurrah!

Susan Willmott overlaid the curving water course with a strong desire line in the form of a bridge and connecting terraces at the heart of the site and shown in the 1: 200 plan  . . .

. . the area under the bridge is a small water garden for the restaurant – a sense of privacy but also exploration –  1:50 plan.

. . and two visuals to convey use and also identity of her scheme for the site.

The work from the degree students stacked up very well to the work from those at higher levels of study. Congratulations all of you!

In life’s exigencies men have been known
To pass themselves, and to attain to more
Than hope; as if in combat with the gods
The god in them secured supremacy. Robert Crawford   Achievement


There’s a great specimen of Parrotia persica by the path that runs from the Design Studio to the main building on the Hadlow campus. Students and staff brush past this large shrub which is almost a tree about 6 times day. The current 3rd year, brushed up against a smaller specimen in Calverly Gardens, Tunbridge Wells this week on a survey visit for the Place and Culture project. No one could recognize the plant. Of course, their minds are on different things  – many research projects and the start of their major year long project – so recalling a certain plant is not top of their priorities at the moment. We’ve all looked at plants that we know perfectly well and been stumped for the name.  In a way, that’s the rationale behind this post, readjusting with the known but looking with fresh eyes.

Looking to the sky with one long deep breath . . . . hardly any leaves left on the Acer palmatum . . . . but with such a spectacular colourful finale in autumn, it must be exhausted and longing for dormancy.

Many berries still on Crataaegus prunifolia and fruits of a different sort on the pine.

The double borders are pinned down with 2 lines of fastigiate oaks. At the start of the journey down the borders, the naked stems of the pollarded pauwlonias echo the upright habit and encourage the eye skywards again.

A line of Alnus incana in front of the birch – all quite simply positioned but apposite. The torch looks great at the base of one shining upwards! So looking upwards, the last leaves on the cotinus flutter away.

And onto the Betula nigra group with the young branches still fairly smooth and tactile. Those who know these gardens will recognise the route I chose by the sequence of the images . . .

. . . the mature trunk and branches are wonderfully wrapped in the tissuey layer of peeling bark.

And the taxodiums are entering their quiet time. A good deal of this planting was instigated by Kemal Mehdi, a plantsman and an individual who influenced and inspired students and staff alike. He’s missed by many here including me but busy on his own garden now.

There is no Silence in the Earth — so silent
As that endured
Which uttered, would discourage Nature
And haunt the World.  Emily Dickinson

The students studying landscape architecture and garden design  pinned up their final project work as part of the degree show in the design studio at Hadlow College this week. They use this campus in their first and second year but, spend all of the third or final year at the Avery Hill campus of the University of Greenwich. Most would agree that it’s good to return to Hadlow, especially at this time of year when the there’s a lot going on in the borders. The site that the project was based on, is a large private garden near East Grinstead with a choice from 3 scenarios for the client brief. It may not just remain a ‘paper project’ for some students as the clients may wish to proceed with certain areas if they like the ideas shown.  The first stage covered preparing a master plan  – drawings and covering documentation – at 1:500 scale before moving into design development stage – plans, model, sections and sequential sketches at 1:200 scale with overlays for structural planting, drainage, lighting etc. The final stage is worked at 1:50 scale with plans and accompanying 3 dimensional explanation. Technical detailing is also required at this scale. The examples below show that all their hard work pays dividends – all should feel good about their work if exhausted!

This is Elliott Green’s master plan – it’s my crooked picture not Elliot’s work ! Below in order: Felicity Mantella 1:200 + section; Jenn Moss 1:200 and concept plan; Juliet Peter’s birds eye drawing of  1:200 area.

Below Paco Alvarez model at 1:200 scale: Rali Zachieva and Will Blackledge plans at the same scale.

A few examples of sections through the garden areas from Paul Hadley; 2 from Sam Gall and finally Tomasz Tandecki.

To follow section and sequential sketch by Whitney Hedges; sketch of front garden from Lisa Vandepeer and 2 sequential sketches by Mo Murton.

Following on Peter Thomas’ Winter Garden at 1:50 scale; Karolina Malecha plan at 1:50 of ornamental  vegetable garden and Matt Dalby’s 1:50 plan of the walled garden.

To finish Rali’s visual of her green wall idea and 3 visuals by Joh Bates.

Some of these students will continue to study on the Post Graduate programme either next year or later on after working in the industry. Some may decide to work as sole practitioners and a few may just take a good break away but they all have talent!

This is where I came from.
I passed this way.
This should not be shameful
Or hard to say.

A self is a self.
It is not a screen.
A person should respect
What he has been.

This is my past
Which I shall not discard.
This is the ideal.
This is hard.
James Fenton

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