ODS E-News talks one-on-one with Director of TLC Total Landscape and Construction, Scott Wynd, who led the Gold Award-winning Australian team at this year's Chelsea Flower & Garden Show.
One-on-one with Director of TLC Total Landscape and Construction, Scott Wynd, who led the Gold Award winning Australian team at the 2010 Chelsea Flower & Garden Show.
How did you get into the landscape industry?
By the age of 12, I was mowing lawns in my local area. I started an apprenticeship in landscape when I was 17, and after receiving my apprenticeship papers I instantly went out to work for myself. I continued studying for several years at night focusing on landscape design and business management.
After running my own business for 10 years I finally went back to original goals of being a landscape architect. Landscape architecture at RMIT only lasted two years as I realised I was not interested in the public space that the RMIT course mainly focused – my interests where clearly focused on pools and associated landscapes, which my own company TLC focus mainly on.
At the time of leaving RMIT I had been approached by Wes Fleming to get my company to build the second ever Australian Show Garden at Chelsea. I have been a part of the Chelsea journey every year since.
Can you tell us a bit about TLC Total Landscape and Construction?
TLC Total Landscape and Construction is a design and construction company based in Melbourne (Greensborough). TLC has been running since 1992. In 2005 we started TLC Pools, a division of TLC Total Landscape and Construction. Now we focus nearly solely on the design and construction of unique pools and associated landscapes. We are a small to medium sized company, with six guys in construction and three in design and administration.
What were the design principles behind your Gold Award winning 2010 Chelsea Flower Show Garden?
My design for Chelsea is focused around a good outdoor lifestyle, with the U-shaped open air kitchen situated in the centre of the garden. The centre of the kitchen flows directly into a fully glazed wet-bar, where you can sit on the decorative stainless steel seats and enjoy a drink while cooling down. From the Kitchen is a sunken lounge and breakfast area surrounded by a structural timber pergola and mass planting of large bamboo. This area has a real sense of comfort, warmth and enclosure.
The whole design is on a 45 degree angle with the spine of the garden being a fully tiled black pool and spa. The spa wall and wet-bar in the pool are fully glazed giving connection to the connecting areas. Stepping stones over the pool connect the rest of the garden with the large raised pavilion. The roof line of the pavilion cantilevers over the pool to give protection from the elements as well as creating a strong architectural roofline with a large moon window cut out of the ceiling that shadows over the pool and frames the sky beautifully.
The garden is very structural and it was very important to soften the large structures with large jungle style plantings. The garden design aims to look like the hard landscape has been chopped into an existing lush planting. Planting of 8m high Strelitza alba hang over the structures. The lush plantings of Strelitza regiane, hostas, jasmine, fatsia,allocasia are mass planted to give solid blocks of green on green planting. Due to the amount of hard construction is was important to set a bold but very simple colour palette, with colour tones from white to black and lush plantings of green making the garden timeless and bold but soft on the eye.
What other landscape-related awards have you won?
I have been lucky enough to win numerous awards throughout the course of my career:
- During my apprenticeship I won most awards including the Australian Wordskills title.
- I have been involved in 4 Gold medals and a Silver Gilt medal show garden at Chelsea.
- I have one silver medal from the Melbourne Garden Show and Sydney in Bloom.
- In 2009 TLC won Best Landscape Design as well as Best Landscape Construction under $300k in the 2009 LIAV awards.
What other ‘show gardens’ are in the pipeline?
I plan to follow on from Chelsea with a large show garden at MIFGS in 2011 to showcase what Chelsea was all about.I have also been asked to compete in a World Gardening Challenge in Japan this year, however, have yet to decide if I will make it there as it has already been a demanding year.
As a member of Landscaping Victoria (Formerly LIAV), what do you believe are the most important issues affecting the industry at present?
There are two main problems that I see. One is a skills shortage - as the demand for more constructed and detailed gardens evolves, our skills have to improve at the same speed. We are no longer just landscapers that do it all; we are builders of the outdoors that have to have impeccable finishing details and a vast array of skills.
When I won the Wordskills Australia title (not too long ago), I was meant to compete internationally, however, the US was not interested as they could not understand why one person would need to know how to do so many tasks well. They simply had the view that if you wanted a good lawn you engaged a greenskeeper, even for domestic works. As our industry grows overall we find we are quickly following suit. We either need to keep on top of all skills and do them all extremely well or learn more about management and dealing with contractors, much like a builder.
The other problem I see in the industry is the lack of tree life that we plant in domestic homes - our wishes for what we fit into our gardens are nearly all lifestyle based and concentrated mainly on hard construction. We will be unable to change this trend, however, we need to offset it with more green life and especially trees. Trees are an amazing part of the landscape – they provide so many direct benefits as well creating an emotion. The smaller our plot sizes are and the harder our landscapes become, we need to keep things in balance and make sure we keep our upper canopy of trees and not control the environment we live in.