June 5, 2011

"......and money is NO OBJECT"

Words that elicit sheer magic in a designers soul. The imagination runs, the heartbeat quickens.....but let's get back to that part later.
The message was "Have Debra call me. Does she do African forest gardens?"

I call. A foreign voice is asking "Do you make African forest gardens?" 
As my mind is trying to imagine a jungle in Illinois I calmly ask "and where would this be?"

"All I can tell you is the Middle East. When can we meet to discuss the project?" I am intrigued.
But really?

I agree to meet in a public coffee house.
Visions of the 2 "gents" in Morocco I once encountered, circled within my head. Steve and I were walking through an ancient Medina, narrow passage ways, covered women, odd smells and sounds.....all drew us into the biblical era, you could feel it.

Being far ahead of Steve, this old Nancy Drew wannabe, walked with purpose conjuring stories, questioning the history, the architecture.......... when these lads ran out of a building straight towards me, "Indiana Jones" like swords brandished overhead; screaming  "American!"as they keep going and soon disappeared.  (pre-911)
Hmmmm.....what would it be like today?

We meet
He is a professional architect.............so far so good.........

Here is the plan:
-He is one of three chosen architects, of whom will design the structures  Each is to find three landscape professionals with whom he submits a combined preliminary design
-Each architect chooses one of the three after the preliminary concepts are submitted
-One is chosen
-Off to the client it goes for approval.

Now for my questions:

Q:  How did you find me?
A;  Google (my puffery is burst)

Q; Where is this in the Middle East?
A:  All I can tell you is it's near the sea, warm and humid

Q: How large is the property? Tell me about it?
A; 35 acres, to be completely enclosed, currently it is totally flat; all sand......they want to utilize all of it 

Q: Do you realize this needs mountains of top soil
A: "Yes, money is no object"
Q: Animals?
A; No, but show an attractive equestrian center, and waterfalls, and, and, and

          Inspiration Images

On 35 acres i envision a 4+ acre lake with multiple viewing stages from high to ground level

A shallow portion of the lake could have these massive Victorian water lilies with another viewing stage

Not of this scale, however a twisting, winding river would provide sailing, viewing, fishing, wandering 

             This climate calls for water features everywhere.

              Ready to imagine the house? or shall I say Compound?
Massive stones with water trickling out of the centers for soaking. African hut roofs made of wood. A strong sense of formality near the home

Inside facility with over-scaled 'cage shades' dripping with tsillandia (air plant) 

A potential viewing opposite the lounge deck, leading your eye into the landscape. Love the 'key hole' shaped pass-through

Alongside the pool area the paths could have parallel 'rills' (running waterways)
See the keyhole?  See the colored stones under glass?

Other pathways could be a mosaic of stones accented by a garden laden with annuals

   All walls and most structures featuring white stucco

A must for this property is an overlook 

Gardens and plains and jungles, deeply textured

Baobab trees. From my experience with this level of wealth, no tree is too large to transport

I would love to see these structures in one of two ways;
-As above, scattered below the Baobab trees casting a luminous glow from every cut-out
-Smaller, but still large, lit within with electricity, dangling at varying length from the trees

The next three images are from Clive Farrell's private garden in England. Our group will be witnessing this and more on our September trip
Borrowing from Clive's ideas; I love the driftwood like trees set in the earth upside down, very artsy!
Can you see large Middle Eastern birds (?) nesting in the roots

Notice the large rope planter and then bits of rope snaking up the trees? How fun to utilize this idea with ropes "snaking" up trees and swinging downwards

Here is more rope forming a massive spider web with sun-catching jewels. An ideal Africanesque tribute to spiders. (did I just say a TRIBUTE to spiders?)

Golden pod houses for one, tucked here and there within the grounds. Perfect for a respite or contemplation and prayer.

Well, that's the initial concept, wish me luck?
Thank you for visiting......stay tuned......


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