Speakers lift the lid on the use of colour in the garden at SGD Spring Conference

Company: Society of Garden Designers (SGD)

Speakers to lift the lid on colour in the garden at the SGD Spring 2020 Conference:

COLOUR: the art, science and experience 

Speakers from across the globe will explore the use of colour in the garden at the SGD Spring Conference in April, looking beyond fashions and trends to explain how good use of colour can play a major role in the success of a garden or landscape project.  

Taking place on 25th April at the Royal Geographical Society in London, the conference, titled: Colour: the art, science and experience, will hear from experts from across the fields of landscape architecture, garden design, planting design and science, to explain the profound effects colour can have on our mind and mood and how the right use of colour in a garden can change our perception of the space and how we use it.   

Speakers will include American landscape architect Steve Martino, whose work blends colourful, man-made elements with native plants to reflect the sun-drenched beauty of the American desert;  British garden designer Emily Erlam, known for her exuberant, colourful planting; Canadian landscape architect Claude Cormier, renowned for this originality and creativity in mixing botany, art and landscape design;  gardening consultant and planting designer Jimi Blake, from Hunting Brook Gardens in County Wicklow, and environmental scientist Mike Allaby.

Offering a rare insight into their work, the speakers will reveal how the right use of colour in the garden - from plants to hard landscaping - can be pivotal to creating a successful space that will enhance not only the landscape but the people using it.

Joining the conference from the USA, Steve Martino will draw on examples from his pioneering work 
within the desert landscape of Arizona, to explain how he juxtaposes desert vegetation with boldly coloured architectural structures to create his vivid landscape designs, and how his love for the desert—the interplay of light and shadow, the colours, plants and wildlife - inspires his work.

Adopting a similar approach, garden designer Emily Erlam will explain how she weaves the physical elements of a space - the buildings - with her emotional response to it, to design  gardens that are harmonious, uplifting and beautiful. 

For almost 20 years plantsman Jimi Blake has been rewriting the rules on combining plants at his Hunting Brook Gardens in Co. Wicklow.  At the SGD Spring Conference he will focus on the colour combinations of flowers and foliage, revealing how he creates tapestries of colour throughout the exotic areas, perennial beds and woodland gardens and how repeated colour patterns help to connect the garden to the surrounding countryside. 

Exploring colour from a scientific perspective, Mike Allaby will also join the line-up with a talk entitled 'Why is the World Colourful?'.   The author of more than 100 books on plant science with a background in environmental science of over 50 years, Mike will introduce the often curious reasons as to how and why colour is perceived in the gardens and landscapes that surround us, from a scientific perspective. 

Finally, from Canada, self-confessed 'bad boy' of landscape architecture, Claude Cormier will join the conference to explain why he believes landscapes should be more assertive and unconventional. 

In a talk titled 'Colour is not a Decoration', Cormier will explain how he draws inspiration from visual art and advertising rather than nature, using examples of his projects - renowned for being big, bright and saturated with colour - to illustrate how he plays with scale and a sense of the unexpected to create spaces that combine art and landscape. 

The SGD Spring Conference will be chaired by Stephanie Mahon, editor of the Garden Design Journal, who will examine how colour is expressed and how it changes its nature depending on how it is consumed - either through paint on a canvas, ink on a page, pixels on a screen or light in your garden.

Discounted ‘Early Bird’ tickets are available until 14th March 2020. Visit the SGD website to read more and book tickets online. 

The Spring Conference will once again be available via a live-streaming and on-demand service allowing the SGD to share the experience with as many members as possible. Details will be available on the SGD website shortly.


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