We spoke with up and coming landscape designer and water garden specialist, Ben Harris of Ben Harris Gardens about what makes him tick.
How would you describe your design style?
Natural and elegant simplicity
What’s your design philosophy?
I’m very much inspired by Japanese design principles of balance, simplicity, asymmetry, natural form and curves, taking the best bits nature has to offer and putting it all together to create a unique, informal garden.
What’s the driving force for your designs?
To try and make things better, and give people a reason to believe the world is a nice place to be. More green space is always a good thing!
What do you wish there were more of in Australian gardens?
I’d love to see more homes being built around and ‘grounded’ by gardens;
not the other way around. Aside from that, I’d like to see more greenery, less concrete, and more people getting outside.
Do you have a favourite project?
A lovely client in Blackburn wanted a native garden that saved water and had a pond. I hadn’t worked with water features before and she was good enough to let me take a shot at it. It was such a great experience, a really collaborative process with the client and we worked on the project together. I came back a few weeks after it was finished and she was busy looking after it, it was great to see them interacting with it and taking care of it.
Where do you see Ben Harris Gardens in 10 years time?
It’s my name on the business, so it’s me who’s going to deliver that garden. I like the idea of creating more but staying small so I can have my own hands on all the work, from conception to construction. I just want to keep creating – doing more native gardens, more cottage gardens and more water features.Where do you look to for inspiration?
I recently went to the Grampians and just spent a lot of time looking at the natural flow of all the elements.
I attended a water feature conference on a work trip to Chicago – it’s always great sharing ideas with likeminded people. And I’m hoping to get to Japan as soon as I can.
What do you hope your designs do?
To me, a good garden gives people a reason to go outside and enjoy it. My gardens are designed to be used, connected with and enjoyed. That’s when I know I’ve done my job really well.
Want more info on Ben’s work?
Head to bhgardens.com.au