10 September 2021
Guy Jones - Garden Designer
RHS Wisley graduate Guy Jones set up award-winning Emotive Landscapes in 2009. The Cheltenham-based landscape design and build firm provides contractual work for garden designers as well as offering in-house design services for domestic & commercial projects. We speak with Guy Jones about his journey into landscaping and his most rewarding project to date.
1. How did you first get into horticulture, design and landscaping? Have you always been in this field?
I worked in an office for a short time, but decided very quickly that it was not something I wanted to do long term. My love for outdoor spaces and the natural world led me to explore this industry and I have been stuck ever since!
2. What is your favourite garden to visit and why?
It would have to be RHS Wisley, as it formed such a significant part of my training and journey into this field. I have very fond memories of the garden and the expert work that they do there is always inspiring.
3. What industry figures do you admire?
Mark Gregory, Dan Pearson, Piet Oudolf and the Master gardeners of Japan.
4. When did you decide to start your own business and what have been the challenges along the way?
I set up Emotive Landscapes in 2009 after graduating from RHS Wisley, where I developed a deep knowledge and passion for plants. I have always loved working and spending time outdoors, so the combination of this, along with the knowledge I acquired at Wisley resulted in me starting my own landscaping business.
5. What is your business’ niche and how does this attract new clients?
The sole intention of being able to offer a more considered planting and garden design than what I had seen being offered by the majority in the industry was a key motivator for me.
6. How would you typically develop a design from start to finish?
Design takes place at concept level before being presented to the client. We then iterate and develop this in response to the client feedback.
7. How important is your website and social media to your business?
It is very important, as it is the only shop window that we have. We like to think it validates enquiries more than generates them. Because we do a lot of contract work for local designers, a large portion of our work comes from industry contacts.
8. What has been your most rewarding project and why?
Every project is unique and therefore rewarding in its own way. A recent example of a project that was particularly rewarding would be Lanes Cottage in Winchcombe. Over a period of six months, we touched every m2 of this 2.5 acre site, working closely with the client to transform this once derelict space into a beautiful contemporary country garden.
Highlights include external porcelain steps, SUDS compliant private drive, a Corten steel amphitheater, water cascade and rill, 600 m2 of wildflower turf, 4000 bulbs, an intensive green roof et al. We continue to be involved with the soft landscape design and maintain good relationships with the client and subcontractors.
The reason that this project was so special was because of the client. He was ambitious, exacting and a joy to work for.
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9. How do you maintain great working relationships with designers and clients when contracting?
Lots of communication as well as keeping work spaces neat and tidy.
10. What plants do you use to create colour in the garden during the winter?
Hellebores and Daphnes are my two favourites.
11. How important is hard landscaping within your in-house designs and do you have any favourites?
Hard landscaping is very important in our projects – it is the first principle of design. We like British natural stone and Dutch or Belgian clay pavers.
12. What are your ambitions for Emotive Landscapes in the future?
To be known in the area for high quality design and contracting work while providing a rewarding and motivating place to work.
Before & After Project
An incredible transformation from a muddy field to a breathtaking country manor and traditional gardens.
Contact Emotive Landscapes
Phone 01242 863 861