Introduction to designer and founder Anthony Arnold
I came into landscape design via a different route than a lot of other designers who tend to come from a horticulture or 'plant interest' background. I spent 10 years as a project and operations manager in the construction/renewable energy industry before 'changing hats'. I guess you might say I got a little tired of basements and roof tops and wanted to spend more time exploring my passion for design and the environment. Back in 2014 I decided to re-train to bring my experience in construction, contracts, project management and operations into landscape design. I gained a Distinction at the renowned Pickard Design School in London and established Emerging Landscape Design.
I wanted a landscape design firm that could provide clients with expertise in consultation, design and project management, with a particular focus on the challenges of climate change and its impact on our garden spaces.
My point of difference to most other designers - through my past construction experience - is that I understand how to build a garden in construction terms; what is needed from the ground up, how to procure materials, plan and tender a contract, manage a project or site efficiently and safely, and how to bring in the right expertise when needed. I think this suite of skills is often overlooked by clients as most designers are plant focused, which of course is very important and adds that final beautiful interactive layer to finish off a project but in reality only represents a fraction of the total cost of most landscaping projects.
The bulk of costs and savings are in the operations, specification, procurement and movement of materials around/in a project and the appreciation of this often sits with landscaping contractors. I believe a good designer should not only design a concept that works to meet the ambitions/brief of the project including extending the clients creatively but also be a ‘client representative’ in sourcing the right contractors, with budget guidance and an understanding of what it takes to deliver a project all the way through.
I am also continually advocating the notion that clients are not simply buying a service - they are actually engaging in a relationship exercise that should last them beyond the confines of the design package and could (as several of my clients will testify) last for years beyond project completion.