JOHN BROOKES - IN MEMORIAM
``Gardens are fundamentally a place for the use by people``
John Brookes, prominent Britain based Landscape Designer, died on March 16, 2018 at the age of 84. Among his many accomplishments, like somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 books on landscape design, (of which I am pleased to own three well thumbed copies), he was part of the modernist movement in the 1960’s and introduced to the masses the concept of the “outdoor room” and making outdoor spaces for people. “Gardens are fundamentally a place for the use by people”.
His methodology for using grids in landscape design was also ground breaking and is a very useful design methodology. “By using the shapes within that grid or a multiple thereof, you will evolve a design that has a proportionate visual unity with the house. The grid will also encourage you to unfold your design from your living space instead of relating it to the boundaries, the downfall of many garden designs.”
Learning Landscape Design at a time before the internet where ‘everything’ is now available at our fingertips, John Brookes` books were part of my arsenal. Need some inspiration for a Modern Design or a Mediterranean theme? It was there. Along with some good advice on planting plans, the concepts of which I just needed to adapt to what would grow in Calgary.
So, on this snowy March weekend I salute John Brookes with a thumb through some of his work, which to me is just as relevant and useful as when I first read it.