Tusting Talks to… Randle Siddeley
To celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show which heralds the summer months in London, and the British weather finally allowing us to get out in the garden, we spoke to leading landscape architect, Randle Siddeley. This year, he partnered with Blue Forest to create ‘The Magical Hideaway’ garden at the show, which the RHS awarded 5 stars.
Read on to learn how Randle ended up designing gardens and his top tip for those of us without the luxury of a landscape architect to do it for us…
How did you get into the world of garden design?
I worked for my father after studying interior design and architecture at college. He had a couple of projects in London with substantial gardens and he had someone already looking at garden design for him. I piped up and said “Well, why aren’t I looking at this?” and he looked at me and said “Well, why aren’t you?” so then I had to justify myself. That was 45 years ago, and it’s been my passion, hobby, business and love affair ever since.
Where do you get your inspiration for the gardens from?
I always go and visit properties and absorb their surrounds which I will then allow to digest in my mind for a few days or weeks and my imagination starts coming together like a giant jigsaw which leads to the final design. Sometimes we can be in the middle of a design which I will then leave, like an artist does when he is completing a masterpiece, to further contemplate the outcome as there is never one option but several and we take ingredients from them to reach the final design.
Where should someone start at home if they want to redesign their garden?
When you come to redesigning or designing your garden, you should look at the beginning and the end. What I mean is, it’s important not to do just one bit then another – you’ll end up lost and wanting to go backwards once you’ve started. Have a master plan on paper (or even just in your head) which has a clear start and finish and take that full journey.
What do you love the most about the Chelsea Flower Show?
It is so awe inspiring to see all the very talented designers especially the younger generation who are amazingly creative and thought provoking with their show gardens.
What’s in store for the rest of the year?
We’ve just started a project in Bodrum, Turkey, which is hugely exciting and will be a major challenge in the sense that we are trying to bring the very best quality and innovation. The important thing is getting it right and delivering something exemplary.
What do you always have in your bag?
It’s always work! I always carry around my laptop and camera when I’m snapping inspiration. I often carry far too much in my bag of the non-essentials, though I don’t have a makeup bag yet, but it might well come!