Our director Jane Jones recently featured as designer of the month on the Martin Kellock Pots & Planters blog – where she personally discusses all things related to JJL’s work, sources and inspirations, love for feature pots, a few tips on linking interior and exterior spaces, and the broader landscaping industry in general.
You can read the full interview below:
What sparked your career in landscape design?
This is my second career – I used to work in the printing industry. I’d always had a great interest in plants so when my kids were young I completed a horticultural qualification at night school. Then my business was born and steadily grew alongside my children. I’m now in my 23rd year of business.
What fuels your creative process?
I travel whenever I can to get new ideas and see beautiful things. The last few years I’ve attended the Chelsea Flower Show and viewed lovely gardens in Italy and the UK. In 2017 I visited many Californian gardens which was enlightening as this region has similar climatic and growing conditions to Melbourne. It was there I enjoyed the incredible Sunnylands garden in Palm Springs. This is an architectural garden with succulents (which I use a lot of) interplanted with many exotics. I also visit local open gardens in Melbourne to see how others are using products. Instagram is an amazing resource that gives me access to global gardens. I can never go past a good garden book either. Seeing other gardens keeps you motivated and interested in your work.
Can you tell us about a design project that’s particularly noteworthy or challenging?
A large project in Armadale that took a year to complete involved the design of a unique steel sculptural arbour, which is eye-catching from the street.
Another interesting job was planting an entire front garden on top of a Malvern East basement. I designed the landscape in association with an engineer to ensure we kept within the weight limits for the slab. The effect is a beautiful front garden that totally masks the house’s basement and a car lift that goes underground.
Why do you think people come to Jane Jones Landscapes for their garden design?
Clients are attracted to the look and style of my gardens, yet I always strive to create designs that complement the architecture, orientation and environment of the home. I make suburban, coastal and country gardens and each one requires a tailored approach. My designs are primarily focused on the plants and probably lean more towards a feminine style.
Describe your design process. Is it client led, or do you endeavour to include your own style?
The process starts with understanding the client’s vision for their ideal garden. Listening to their preferences and what they want from the garden, as well as observing the style of their home all feeds into the garden design. Sometimes the inside of a client’s house gives clues as to which design elements will work in their garden. For example, one client had an internal stone-cladded fireplace which we echoed outside with a fire pit made from the same material.
Any tips for linking a home’s interior and exterior spaces?
You have to think about how the garden is going to be viewed and used from the inside – consider views from windows and door access. It’s nice to bring the outside in with indoor plants continuing the ‘living’ theme. And when it comes to bringing the ‘inside out’, I always advise clients to make sure outdoor functional areas are big enough to hold selected furnishings. You need to be able to easily walk around dining tables, chairs, pots, etc.
What current landscaping trends do you see emerging?
Perennials have made a resurgence. There’s a lot of interest in ornamental grasses. Although these are current fashions, everyone uses them differently. I like to mix perennials into my plantings to create layers of interest; it gives bones to the garden.
Do you have a stable of go-to plants?
My favourite plants keep changing! But I love mixing in succulents as they’re structural and have so much visual interest.While we’re on favourites, do you have a favourite Martin Kellock Pots and Planters pot?
The Richmond bowl – I think they’re beautiful. Also love the Geo Rok. I use huge pots as focal points. I believe pots always need to be upscale when they’re outside – large scale just works in my designs. I’ve also used the Fitzroy bowl in a recent job that looks just lovely. And the French pots are gorgeous too!