Heather Hesterman from LUSHPLOT is one of the Landscape Designers who designed the concept of place.grow.shift, a moveable garden for AILDM. Here she talks to placegrowshift.wordpress.com about her design practice.
Tell us a little background about yourself and how you become involved in Landscape Design?
My background is in Fine Art and I have created sculptural installations that explore a sense of place and scale; be it domestic, emotional or referencing a broader landscape. More recently I studied Landscape Design at NMIT (Fairfield), which was a great experience and extension to my arts practice and won 1st prize in AILDM’s National Student Design Competition in 2012. Landscape design considers site, form, function, texture and colour just like Fine Art. The essential difference being that in the garden context I am using and specifying forms that are living and constantly changing. The spatial variables that can be achieved in landscape design are very exciting. I am passionate about plants, and landscape designs that have strong forms and colour.
Kindergarten in North Fitzroy
I am a member of the community group Merri Stationeers a lively group of local residents revegetating the surrounds of the Merri railway station. The Stationeers are an inspiring bunch of people and I have learnt a lot from their varied expertise. Urban spaces that offer the potential to be revegetated and become green spaces will become increasingly valuable as urban density increases. Open green spaces such as these, will be a haven for wildlife, commuters and local residents alike and need to be preserved for future generations.
Indigenous garden at Merri
What would you consider to be the essentials to create a successful Landscape Design?
I think it’s most important to listen to the client and get to know not only what they want to convey in their garden but also how the garden might be used. It’s the landscape designers’ role to mesh their ideas with their clients’ but present ideas that go beyond what the client initially thought possible. The client is seeking a designer’s expertise and ability to create interesting solutions and make the space engaging.
The sayings ‘less is more’, and ‘form follows function’ are mantras that I try to subscribe to. In my designs I aim to create interest and adhere to sustainable practice. For example, using permeable paving where possible, minimising the amount of waste leaving the site, and using suitably hardy species for each particular site and position.
Who or what are your creative influences and which Designer do you admire?
I really think that Martha Schwartz and her practice is inspiring and then in no particular order, artists: Richard Long, Donald Judd, Cornelia Parker, Patrick Pound, Banksy, Tacita Dean, and landscape designers: Juan Grimm, Ken Smith, Piet Oudolf, Andrea Cochran, Fiona Brockhoff, Taylor Cullity Lethlean, the Angahook StatePark, Point Addis (Surf Coast Walk), the gardens at Versailles, Cranbourne Botanical Garden (see below) and the High Line in NY!
What are your favourite plants and what we should see more of in Australian urban designs?
Oh that’s easy, but always changing…. I love sculptural foliage. Any banksia’s or hakeas are great. I think correas are incredible as they grow practically anywhere. But I also love Brachyichitons, Acers, Pennesetums and Sedums for their colour. In Melbourne, letting in northern light in winter calls for deciduous trees. We should all be planting many more trees, as they store carbon, are relatively low maintenance and keep our houses cooler in summer many produce great fruit too. I think Prunus avium ‘Stella’ cherries and ‘Moorpark’ apricots are an absolute all-time favourites. Who can resist the joy of eating home grown fruit picked straight from the tree! Herbs and seasonal vegies are also fun for kids and adults alike.
In terms of hard landscaping materials; I love timber decking, raised board-walks and clever use of materials. I think that when architects and builders design houses they need to consider the spaces that they leave behind to be landscaped. It is more exciting to have interesting spaces to design rather than long narrow strips where the house takes up the majority of the site. Luckily there are plants that will grow in all conditions and it’s our job to specify suitable species for the location.
What can we expect from AILDM’s MIFGS garden?
A moveable feast of colour and textures. In essence, boldness and good design.
Contact: Heather Hesterman W: www.lushplot.com E: email@example.com M: 0423 498 150