Design Tips

Garden Design Tips

With the sights and sounds of her yard as a backdrop, noted garden designer Laura Crockett shares her personal perspective on design.

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Hi. I'm Laura Crockett at and today we're gonna take a look at some of the salvage pieces that I've used throughout the garden. I describe myself as a garden designer who loves plants and specifically likes to showcase them as they relate to hardscape elements. Using that architecture in my design as a strong element is definitely something that I've become known for, as well as, you know, re-purposing items and salvaging them and incorporating them into the hardscape element. My mother was an artist and she would bring home a lot of things and reuse them again, so, to me, it was part of life. I think that the melding of the formality of the design and the informality of using salvaged materials allows me to create really unique structures that no one else can duplicate. The other reason I love to use salvaged materials is because they always carry with them an interesting story. There's the story about how you found the item, how you managed to acquire it because there's some sort of dickering that goes involved, then there's always the idea of-- or the story about how you brought it home. There's always a good story there and then it sat around the house and we played with it in so many different ways so it becomes a really rich way to allow people to express themselves in their garden. This structural water column, we call it a courtyard brook, was conceived of during a time when I was doing some research regarding the sounds that are created with water features. What I've done here is created an architectural piece that can fit into almost any size of garden. The columns are filled with pebbles and that's how we get some of that magical sound. It's never irritating. It's always soothing and slightly changes every second. It brings the birds, everything from robins and bluejays and finches to the very smallest hummingbirds and it's quite an asset in the garden and we love it. When you can connect people to their gardens with stories, with emotions, with personal memories, then what you find is that that space becomes really personal to them and they enjoy it and love it even more.