3 December 2019
Having won four gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, Best in Fresh, Best in Show and Best in Construction, James, alongside partner Helen Basson, is also the founder of Scape Design, a garden design company which specializes in sustainable, ecological and low maintenance gardens. The ethos of Scape Design is to blend gardens into their surroundings, hand selecting the correct plant palette to ensure that it is perfectly adapted to each garden. By studying the biodiversity of plants and interaction of elements, Scape Design integrate local materials and select the correct plants for the surroundings in order to lessen the need for maintenance, water or chemicals, creating a sustainable environment.
These themes were the focus of James’ talk here at the college. During the event, which was heavily attended by many of our horticulture students, James led with “what happens in the landscape” and illustrated how sustainable approach was the starting point for all his work. He took us on a journey through his approach and methodology, exposing how he found his inspiration. James then went on to outline the various processes that have guided him throughout his career to build such revolutionary gardens and as a result, why he thinks he has been fortunate enough to be awarded four gold medals at the CFS.
Many students came away with nothing but positive feedback for James, claiming they had witnessed a new way of working in the industry and felt inspired. Even staff members were expressing a desire for a new approach to their work after the presentation. James recounted at the start of the presentation:
I felt like I didn’t slot in until I found garden design.
Which felt to have resonated with many students. Our garden design courses include a wonderful range of ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, with students as young as seventeen and ranging to fifty or over. The course gives students the opportunity to grow, to evolve themselves in their chosen career or take the step from a current profession to an exciting and inspirational one, much of which was echoed in James’ presentation.
Our next open morning is all about Horticulture as we head over to our Stanmer Site. See the development of One Garden, and discuss with tutors about your potential horticultural future on Saturday 7th December 2019.
Since the original 400-acre College farm was bought back in 1919, Plumpton College has certainly seen a lot of changes.