terça-feira, 8 de maio de 2012


Garden designers from the Low Countries are hitting the heights, none more deservedly than Erik Dhont. Andrew Mikolajski profiles a quiet achiever ...

International landscape architecture is a profession that requires the technical skills of a draughtsman, the horticultural knowledge of a gardener and the creativity of an artist. In the front rank of this multi-talented elite is a quietly spoken, 46-year-old Belgian many people have never heard of: Erik Dhont.
Dhont’s standing is such that his work is archived at Dumbarton Oaks, the historical garden library in Washington, while in March he gave a keynote speech at the Society of Garden Designers’ conference in London. He is much-liked as well as admired by those who come into contact with him—but is nonetheless self-deprecating. When I arrived late once at a lunch celebrating some of his new projects, he happily took me aside and gave me a thorough run-down of the presentation I’d just missed—from, it seemed, a genuine desire to make a connection. Even now he protests—while on the phone from Malibu, where he’s completing a six-acre private garden overlooking the ocean—“I’m not a star. It’s the clients who are the heroes.”
During the past decade, the Low Countries have provided us with any number of landscaping big-hitters who’d be more than happy to be described as stars. Jacques Wirtz and his son Peter are well established as cutting-edge designers on a grand scale (although the much-photographed garden they made for the Duchess of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle is in fact laid out on surprisingly traditional lines). The Dutch landscaper Piet Oudolf has been influential to the point of repetitiveness: his drifting mixed plantings of grasses and perennials are star attractions at both the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley, Surrey, and Pensthorpe conservation centre in Norfolk. And Jean-François van den Abeele’s “conservationist” gardens are well-known for creating environments sympathetic to man and nature.......

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