If you ask Ian Barker to list what inspires him, you’ll receive a very long list. But if you ask him who inspires him, you’ll get one reply: Tom Stuart-Smith period! To say he has a ‘man crush’ is somewhat of an understatement, and after viewing Tom’s work, it’s hard not to see why.
Ian first met Tom back at the Chelsea Garden Show in 2008, where Tom showcased his Laurent-Perrier Garden – his reaction against the traditional ‘Chelsea Garden’. With its assumptions about how people will experience a space coupled with its eye-catching features, this garden was designed to create both an atmosphere and a mood. It also intended to be a contemplative space with a dreamy, slightly surreal character.
Designed with the thought that it could be a private garden, Tom’s idea was conceived more around using simple repeated elements to formulate a complex, subtle space.
The layout was composed by overlaying a number of separate patterns – including cloud-pruned hornbeams, a pattern of brick paved paths, water tanks and herbaceous planting of green with a few white flowers.
Tom’s use of intentional contrast between the alluring beauty of the exterior with its white peonies and the more melancholic central part of the garden is absolutely stunning, to say the least.
Ian, we can understand why he’s your number 1 inspiration…
Click here for more on Tom’s 2008 Chelsea garden and other stunning creations.