I always notice the landscape. I have lived all over the place and the landscape or the products of it are always what I remember. I remember I found it utterly frustrating coming from Colorado and wide open plains to upstate New York when I went to college. There were so many trees, getting lost was easy because, unlike home, I couldn’t see for miles and just generally work myself in the right direction. When my grandparents came for graduation they commented about feeling claustrophobic, I totally got it.
So a few years ago, when we returned from England back to the northeast, I had this strange nostalgia driving through Connecticut about the way the trees looked on the side of the highway. A noticeably different overall look than highway forests in the UK, or France, or Florida, or Northern California, or Canada, or Russia, or Norway or…or….or…. I have always thought it might be interesting to make a study of how forests and wooded areas look different from the highway, but I am not sure what the point would be.
Anyway, coming to my point, I bring this all up to answer a question that was recently asked of me,…. why landscapes? and why residential design? and why hospitality design (that is the landscapes around hotels, resorts, restaurants, spas and other great destinations)? This is why.
I love to travel so writing about it makes me happy, but also there is a trickle down effect— what you see in hotels today is often what you see in homes tomorrow. When it comes to design, I like to be an early adopter. And hotels (at least the best ones) recognize that they are part of a travel experience and the culture of their location and they should be all about creating authenticity to highlight what is special and interesting about the place. It could simply be the plants that thrive on that land and the food that they produce, or going to greater extent, and with design, making a place that is extraordinary.
The act of removing myself from one environment to another is so completely inspiring and rut breaking, that I want to share that with you. So that is why I talk about what I talk about here. So I can daydream about all the places I haven’t been and share the ones I have, I can study them and learn from them and you, my dear readers, can take inspiration too and create your own local places that I am sure would be so interesting to visit.
So with that, I want to share with you my all time favorite hotel garden (to date) . This is the garden of the Hempel Hotel in London…I have always found such inspiration in this picture. It is a stunning design, but also proof positive that a garden or landscape, when well designed can be the whole reason for visiting a place.