March 21, 2019
Since most people spend a huge portion of their lives working, it’s only right that you’re doing something that you enjoy. When you think about the things in your life that you truly relish, does your job come to mind? Our founder, Eugene Hill, absolutely loves what he does; it’s this satisfaction that has propelled Dewlands Garden Design over the years to achieve such high standards and grow in reputation and ability. He shares what he loves so much about garden design.
Bringing ambitions to life
“One of the things I love so much about gardens is that they are aspirational; designing and building a dream garden is something that many people aim for in the long run. There are so many necessities in life that come before your garden – for example, finding a comfortable home for you and your family is often a priority, or working hard to earn more money in your job and get that promotion you’ve been aiming towards for so long to support a more comfortable lifestyle.
But once you have achieved that work-life balance, to free up time to be able to enjoy your garden and work on improving it, that’s when – for me – you know you’ve made it! And so, working with my clients on this life aspiration that they’ve worked long and hard to achieve, and giving the expertise and insights to bring this life ambition to reality – enabling them to realise their dreams and more – gives me great satisfaction.”
The thrill of the challenge
“Being a garden designer isn’t easy – there are many different skills involved with designing and developing that come from different disciplines, all of them requiring close attention to detail. On the practical side of things, I use art and craft to make things more visually appealing; I use my technical skills in engineering for construction, electrics, water and irrigation; I need to completely understand the materials I use and then apply techniques to shape and form them; and I use my knowledge of plants and animals to provide the loving care needed to nurture nature in the garden.
In parallel to these practical skills, I must also use project management techniques that I’ve honed during my previous corporate jobs to ensure that projects runs smoothly, on time, and are communicated effectively to my clients. I like doing difficult stuff, it becomes a never-ending soup of wonderful things to learn, which I gulp down greedily, and with experience, one hopes to yield an ever-increasing mastery!
While I still spend a great deal of time behind a drawing board or laptop, my job gets me out in all weather; I love spending time outdoors, there’s a certain enjoyment you get from enjoying the fresh air. When I’m in my garden, I’m calm; it connects us to our primeval, spiritual roots. Being outside is generally good for us, many studies have shown that being outdoors can have benefits to your health, helping to de-stress you and reduce tiredness. This connection to the outdoors is amplified in traditional Japanese gardens which emphasise the Kami or sacred essence of the rocks, trees, plants, water and animals.
When there’s a niche hands-on job that I need to do, it affords me the time to use my skills as a craftsman. There are few things more satisfying in life that standing back and saying ‘I built that’. I owe a lot to my garden; pruning my vines and planning the next project once helped me to destress from a high-pressured corporate career – I suspect I would have burst a blood vessel a long time ago if it were not for my own patch of green. Working with clients to create their own ideal outdoor living spaces not only gets me outdoors, but it also enables me to build spaces for them that they will love, to give them this sense of calm and connectedness and their own space to destress.
“I love my job, I like to think that the bones of a garden designed by me will last a very long time; a small but important contribution and a marker saying, ‘I was here!’. My passion for garden design, supported by my professional qualifications and experience, has allowed me to deliver high-quality projects for my clients as the energy I put into my work is translated into their garden designs.”