March 31, 2014
‘Synergia as One’ is a conceptual garden for the public space, on the bank of the River Thames, named after Bernie Spain. My design for Bernie Spain Gardens seeks to heighten the unique, distinctive and cherished aspects of the locality, enhancing its identity to give a strengthened independent voice to the previous 1980s gardens. The updated garden is an abstraction of water signatures, created by water movement in the natural environment.
The garden embraces the visitor with its multi-faceted public spaces of celebration and theatre to private spaces of contemplation. The visitor is seamlessly guided through the gardens, by a series of dynamic flood defences represented as footways which move effortlessly through the garden, working in harmony with the traversing tidal paths of planting.
A canopy of London Plane trees, Platanus x acerifolia, Alnus and a large lawn currently help to define the character of Bernie Spain Gardens. My proposal will redefine the character by working with the current trees and implementing a planting strategy that is nativesque and seasonally dynamic in colour and form. The current ‘Rose Garden’ will be the ‘Tides Within Garden’, a warm sunny oasis located within the south of Bernie Spain Gardens, an abstraction of the intertidal salt marsh that was. A place for contemplation, a tapestry of nativesque planting, full of colour ebbing and flowing with the seasons offering respite from the city.
’Time flows in a continuous movement, not dissimilar from a a river: for neither a river nor a fleeting second can stand still: water is pushed forward by water, time flees and follows in the same movement again and again…they are always new…’ Ovid Metamorphoses, 15 179 – 185. Carnival colours and nativesque planting underpin the planting palette reflecting seasonal changes of the tides. Fresh green for spring tides, blossom blush clouds floating on early summer waters, autumn gold sunsets settling on silvered waters and skeletons of colour standing defiant against the cold waters of winter.