Neil Best is a landscape architect and builder whose favorite part of the job is getting his hands dirty and using stone to create timeless outdoor spaces. Along with his wife, Samantha, who is also a landscape architect and who specializes in planting, they create gardens. Their company, Magma Design in Rehoboth, MA, works throughout New England creating gardens that celebrate beautiful regional stone.
In the Autumn 2015 issue of PITH + VIGOR we share some of Neil’s advice about working with stone and in our interview we asked about philospophy, his design inspiration, and just about everything else we could think might be interesting… these were a couple of my favorite answers – Rochelle
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
“I’d be a sneaker designer. I just love sneakers. I love the design, the colors, the idea of mixing and matching. I like the specifications you would have to come up with. I think I could do a great job with the structure and durability of them, especially for work boots. It seems fun.”
Where do you find design inspiration?
“I know it sounds corny but most of my inspiration comes from the natural world around me. Although lately I have been influenced by, of all things, vintage wallpaper patterns.”
What is your favorite plant?
“Any Rheum. I love the big, bold, foliage. I like how it stands out in the New England landscape; foliage like that reminds me of some place tropical. I also have a soft spot for Ergynium. I love its spikiness, texture and subdued color. I think it looks like an alien. It’s quirky.”