Guest Blog: Tricia Guild interview

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What are the latest design trends that you think we should be keeping an eye out for spring/summer 2018?

Sublime swathes of fluid, free flowing colour and of course, large scale dramatic, painterly florals all drawn by hand.

When planning your own garden, what influences your design?

I look at my garden as if it were another room, an extension of my home. The garden floor of the house is where the kitchen and dining space is placed, and where we entertain. There is an entire wall of galvanised glass doors, which the sun streams through onto the pale stone floor, which in turn extends out to the terrace beyond. The effect of this glass wall and the stone floor extending into the garden blurs the lines between the inside and outside - further lengthening the room beyond its physical dimensions. The hallway, and garden floor have walls that are a vibrant green colour – a colour so innate with nature it is almost a living breathing shade – for me this is the perfect colour for the spaces within the house where we entertain and enjoy with friends and family. 
In summer, there are lots of flowers – roses and lavender and alliums and agapanthus and some wonderful clematis in all shades of purple, mauve and blue – but because of the structure, the garden looks good all year round, even in the dead of winter – with just the shades of green.

What features do you consider the most important when designing a garden?

There is a romance to nurturing a garden - I find it deeply inspiring. Maintenance is paramount – there is no point in putting something in full sun when it needs shade or crowding a plant that doesn't like small spaces. One needs to have a strong understanding about what you are planting and the colours that you are using to get a definite look.

What’s your favourite season in the garden and why?

The garden is best in early summer when the cornflowers and nepetas are just coming out. I like to be in the garden as much as possible and throughout summer, the garden needs daily care with watering and dead-heading. 

If you could grow just one flower, what would it be?

I am always enamoured by the sculptural qualities of dahlias. The detailed form and colouring of the Dahlia Burlesca is sublime and unexpected. For me, they exude a sensual and sophisticated vitality that is both considered and free, all at once. 

Do you use a guide when planning your garden or is it more free-flowing? 

For me, a garden is living space that just so happens to be outside. The garden, the house, the decoration, the plants…they are all part of the same thing. It is a passion. So garden design should be approached in the same way that you would approach the decoration of one’s home. I believe that both should be artfully planned and vibrantly decorated. 
You can always tell the difference between a garden made by a plantsman and one made by someone with an architectural vision. It's a bit like devoting yourself to the details of a room without thinking through the layout of the space. In the same way that you would consider furniture or fabrics for a living space, it is always best to work to an overall scheme. 

When creating your own arrangements at home, which is your cut flower of choice? 

Flowers have a natural opulence and abundance, but used with care and consideration, they can also be strikingly graphic – even minimal at times. I like to use rows of blue nigella heads, a few florets plucked from gladioli stems and a collection of leaves with strong shapes and textures. 

What flowers influence your fabric and wallpaper designs?

I find beauty in many different flowers as each one is unique - any can inspire an emotional response. 

How would you bring a garden element into the home?

Flowers can transform a room with their beauty, style and warmth, I always style my rooms with flowers or leaves. Just a few blooms, well chosen and thoughtfully placed, have the power to change the balance of an interior and to create different mood. Just think of the sculptural quality of a poppy or dahlia, the intricate pattern of a rose and the vibrant colours of marigold and daffodils – each flower has its own unique character and spirit and will instantly lift the mood in a living space. 

How do you take your inspiration and transform it into one of your designs?

Inspiration comes in many forms, everyday I have my eyes open to the world around me. 
This is very much how a collection starts its journey - with a memory of a glimpse of a work of art, a costume seen at the opera, the pattern of leaves on the ground or the colours of a journey through India. It is these visual impressions that form a kind of internal pattern book that in turn lead me into the design studio with a concept for a new collection.

What inspires you most about the Chelsea Flower Show?

The truly innovative ways in which skilled plants men and women deftly use flowers and plants to convey the true beauty of natural colour in all its glorious and unabridged form. 
Thanks for reading!