Gardens Are For People was written by the gifted landscape architect, Thomas Church. He understood that if he did great designs that did not function for the homeowner then they were not great designs at all.
Every talented landscape designer and landscape architect can do great physical design without the homeowner. But if that specific design is done to meet the creative needs of the designer and not the real needs of the homeowner then the design is lost in its purpose.
An academic exercise is not a real time solution for anyone. Landscape design solutions are a response to information.
Does this mean that homeowners should be the designers and the landscape designers should be merely the draftsmen and draftswomen? No. It means that the design should be a product of good discourse with the client.
Sometimes the homeowner becomes confused and thinks they are the designer. Sometimes the designer gets confused and thinks they are the homeowner. This is not healthy for the process either. Good general information allows the landscape architect to meet the needs of the project at hand.
The designer should ask cogent questions about function, need and lifestyle. The final landscape design should be about those items and other information provided during the first meeting. A potential client who asks for a simple fire pit but receives an elaborate fireplace on the design is not receiving good design. And the converse is true as well.
Need and function in the design process are driven by the lifestyle and the economic capabilities of the client. The actual design from the landscape architect or designer is a response to lifestyle and budgets. Good information from the client allows good design to be developed for them.
Award winning landscape design is generated by professionals applying their craft for the client. The landscape is a result of good communication, good design and quality construction of that landscape design. Remembering that ‘gardens are for people’ is a healthy place to start the landscape design process.