TARA DALTON GARDEN DESIGN
Creating a garden can be a daunting prospect. But it can also be fun! We like to work closely with our clients from the outset to understand their needs and expectations, to help them achieve a garden that reflects both who they are and what they want. Our experience in gardening and garden design helps us to create practical yet beautiful gardens that belong to their landscape, whether in a town or country setting.
Tara studied history and law at Oxford University and worked as an Environment and Planning lawyer in Australia before moving to London in 2000. She studied at the English Gardening School based at the Chelsea Physic Garden in 2008, moved to Kent later that year and studied the Royal Horticultural Society's Level II Horticulture course between 2008-2010. Tara has been working in garden design since then, developing her own style which combines structural formality with ecological passion. As a member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, Tara has been described as having a 'quiet joy' about her and her enthusiasm and love of plants and design is undoubted. While working within the client brief, Tara tries to approach design in an environmentally and ecologically sound way.
We create beautiful gardens that are an escape – a place to relax or entertain, play or just to be. We collaborate with excellent local contractors to deliver stunning planting design and hard landscaping that will stand the test of time.
Ecological design would be no good unless it looked good too so our priority is to get your garden design right for you. But if you want it to, your garden can to be beautiful and it can also support wildlife and the environment at the same time.
With a background in environmental law, ecological design was a logical next step. Having lived in both South Africa and Australia before settling in the UK, Tara was very much aware of the need to be careful with water or waterwise gardening as it is referred to. Beth Chatto's approach of only watering plants when planting by selecting the right plant for the right place made complete sense and it is something that Tara tries to achieve in her designs and in her own garden. With climate change, it is essential to be careful with finite resources such as water. In addition, a sustainable approach to gardening calls for working with the soil that is on a site rather than taking away or bringing in tonnes of soil at vast expense (and use of fossil fuels) so choosing the right plant for the right place is essential. Careful choice of plants can also reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides by choosing better, more disease resistant specimens and by encouraging biodiversity - for example ladybirds eat aphids and birds eat slugs so by encouraging a wide variety of species in a garden, nature can help look after the pests. Planting a wide variety of species extends the flowering period and thereby extends the period of time that pollen and nectar are available to pollinators such as bees and also butterflies that collect pollen on their legs and body as they fly from flower to flower. Pollinators are not fussy about whether plants are native or non-native - they just want the pollen and nectar!
There is a move in the industry towards producing pots that can be recycled in domestic waste. Until this happens, we take the vast numbers of pots left over after a project back to our wholesaler where they are cleaned and reused.