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Author: Nigel Dunnett

Evocations of Nature: The Amstelveen Heem Parks

The Skilful Evocation of Nature The skilful evocation of nature is, depending on your point of view, either the highest expression of the art of garden and landscape making, or an uncreative sentimental pursuit that requires very little imagination.  Of course, as you might expect, I sign up to the first way of seeing the world.   For me the key word here is ‘evocation’: putting together elements in such a way that it provokes an intense emotional response in people that speaks to the freedom and liberation of being in beautiful natural environments.  This definitely isn’t about copying...

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Steppe by Steppe

Steppe by Steppe to plantings for the future Interest in steppe plantings is increasing rapidly. That’s great, because steppe vegetation is adapted to harsh, exposed conditions, with regular summer water-deficit. These are difficult conditions anywhere, but typical of roof gardens and green roofs and other very urban situations where the urban heat island and dominance of hard surfaces creates very stressful conditions. I’ve been working for around 15 years with designed versions of steppe plant communities to create ‘Sky Meadows’ as a form of sustainable planting for roof gardens, green roofs and other exposed dry and stressed situations with...

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The Pictorial Meadows Story

“small, modest beginnings leading to extraordinary outcomes and impact” The Pictorial Meadows story is one of small, modest beginnings leading to extraordinary outcomes, in a way that no-one could have imagined at the start.  The idea started out very simply, as a small student project around 20 years ago, gradually spread out into parks and gardens, became associated with urban renewal, and ended up providing some of the iconic images of the London Olympic Park in 2012.  It’s a lesson in how a germ of an idea can have widespread impact. Designed Meadows vs Nature Conservation Meadows The key...

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