Tom Hill: On Point

Designing a Show Garden throws up a number of challenges and hurdles and with this design none more so than the custom features and furniture which I decided early on to design myself.  I have sourced local companies and craftsman to fabricate these bespoke items for my garden. Quan Garden Art have loaned me the only piece of furniture which hasn’t been designed by me, their beautiful dining table for 6 sits perfectly within my design.

These features and pieces of furniture have been introduced into the garden to work together and harmonise with the hard and soft landscaping to present a ' cohesive ' design solution.

These features consist of;

• Sculptured entrance columns- Built by Liqui-Met
• Geometric water feature – Tiles supplied by British Ceramic Tiles
• Inverted pyramid planter- Built by Alpha Creative Fabrication
• Geometric decorative screens- Built by Liqui-Met
• Canopy over dining area – Built by Alpha Creative Fabrication
• Lounge seating- Built by Alpha Creative Fabrication
• Fire pit – Built by Alpha Creative Fabrication

The sculptured entrance columns were conceived to provide a strong Architectural statement at the garden entrance. The upright metal effect features built and finished by Liqui-Met are coated with a ‘liquid metal’ hand applied then distressed to a weathered appearance. The columns can be rotated to achieve the desired effect from different aspects and lighting.  Paper models and detailed drawings ensured the size and proportions were correct.

The water feature presented a challenge. Not simply wanting to ' buy in' a ready- made feature, the water element was to occupy a central position within the garden and required a strong dynamic solution which also tied in with the geometric theme running through the garden.  A full size mock-up was made to ensure the scale and finish was achievable.
The result is the creation of 3 individual upturned boxes faced with amazing 3D Geode black tiles by British Ceramic Tile selected for their perfect sizing and the way the geometric facets react to lighting.  This is enhanced by the flow of water from the individual outlets and chaotic way the water runs over the surface.

The inverted pyramid planter with corresponding inverted clipped box is a signature feature of my garden. This design has been developed to represent the ' On Point ' reference for the Show Garden and has design references throughout the garden features.  The bespoke planter has been fabricated by Alpha Creative, constructed of Cor-ten steel and allowed to rust and can be made in varying sizes to be placed individually or as a group.

Further extending the theme and to create visual impact and to interrupt the perimeter hedging, 5 decorative screens are included. These are incised with a geometric tessellation 3 D effect design decorated as the entrance columns with 'liquid metal ' special paint finish.

The bespoke dining table for 6 produced by Quan Garden Art was selected for its strong visual statement. This feature has introduced a manufactured element which is the only aspect of the garden not designed, built and/or commissioned by Tom Hill. It works well to interrupt the strong design cues but stays true to the overall concept.

The canopy is a purpose designed feature and serves to reinforce the visual impact of the dining area and compliment the Furniture.  

The Lounge seating is again a bespoke unit manufacture by Alpha Creative Fabrication.  Seating presents a challenge to achieve a dynamic visual appearance as well as a practical solution. Many mock up modelling exercises and trials eventually achieved the desired solution and one that tied in well with the garden as a whole.

A purpose made steel fire basket in weathered steel was conceived to reflect the geometric theme running throughout the garden and gives the lounge seating area a focal point and totally useable solution.

I have incorporated a number of development pictures of the various pieces that will be in my Show Garden but to see the final result you will have to visit the Show!