我为伦敦奥运设计花园 I designed a garden in the Olympic Park
Even though I had always thought I’d be an artist, when I graduated in fine art from Nottingham Trent University, I was very disillusioned with the idea of working within the confines of a gallery space. I realised I was more excited by walking and landscape and thought I could connect the two. I also needed money, so I applied for a job at Hampton Court gardens as an under-gardener.
虽然我一直认为自己会当艺术家，但刚从诺丁汉特伦特大学(Nottingham Trent University)美术专业毕业时，我对憋在画廊里的室内工作完全丧失了憧憬。我意识到，自己更喜欢到处走动、喜欢户外的景色。我觉得自己可以找到一 份同时满足这两点的工作。我当时也缺钱，因此申请了汉普顿宫(Hampton Court)园艺师的工作。
I spent a year there and enjoyed being outside but the work was amenity horticulture – I was learning to mow diamonds into lawns. I needed to be more creative so I enrolled in a garden design course. But that felt even more uncreative and almost put me off garden design altogether. Much of what we learnt was how to manage client/designer relations, focusing on certain types of clients with a certain amount of money. It wasn’t my scene at all, so I decided to go back to painting.
我在那里呆了一年。在户外工作让我觉得享受，但那份工作的性质是休闲园艺——我当时学习的是， 如何在草坪上修剪出菱形的图案。我必须做点更有创意的事情，于是报了一个园艺课程。但那个课程更是毫无创意，几乎让我彻底放弃了园艺。那个课程教给我们 的，主要是如何管理客户与园艺师之间的关系，根据客户的富裕程度对他们区别对待。这完全不是我的菜，因此我决定重返绘画界。
In the end, I took a job in an art shop and gallery and did odd jobs for garden designers. During this time, I entered a Royal Horticultural Society competition for a conceptual design for the Hampton Court Flower Show. My idea was a pattern of different widths of water rills – like streams – running in repeats with naturalistic planting and overlapping stones. It was intended for awkward, in-between spaces in cities, and I won the competition with it. Not long after, I was approached to design an exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show. And through that, I was approached to be part of a team bid for the Olympic Parklands. My career seemed to take off very quickly.
最后，我在一个艺术品商店兼画廊里找到了一份奇怪的工作，为园艺师服务。那段时间里，我参加了 英国皇家园艺学会(Royal Horticultural Society)举办的汉普顿宫花展概念设计大赛。我的想法是，挖一些不同宽度的水渠（像小溪那样），在水渠两岸营造自然植被，或堆一些石块。这个设计的 目的，是把城市中一些不规整的多余空间利用起来。凭借这个设计，我赢得了比赛。不久，有人来找我为切尔西花展(Chelsea Flower Show)上的一个展览做设计。通过那件事，又有人来找我参加奥林匹克公园(Olympic Parklands)的设计征集会。我的事业似乎很快就起飞了。
I was invited into meetings to discuss how the Olympic Parklands might look but I didn’t hold out much hope for having my own ideas included. Then someone turned to me and said they wanted to make sure there’d be a garden at the main stadium I could use my ideas in. I was surprised but in the end that’s what happened. I was the youngest designer responsible for a major project at the Olympics. As soon as the design work started, so did the pressure. It was very fast-paced and I had to provide drawings very quickly – even on the same day that the ideas had been proposed.
我受邀参加了一些讨论奥林匹克公园景观设计的会议，但我并没怎么指望自己的意见能被采纳。这 时，有人对我说，他们想跟我确认一下，我是不是愿意设计主场馆的一座花园。我觉得很意外，但事情就这么发生了。在所有负责奥林匹克公园主项目的设计师中， 我是最年轻的一个。设计工作一开始，压力随之而来。工作节奏很快，我必须很快交出图纸——有时候想法出来的当天就得出图纸。
I thought less literally than many traditional planting designers; I collaged different images together and included drawings and sketches. I was nervous and conscious of my lack of formal training but actually George Hargreaves, the design leader, seemed to appreciate my unconventional approach.
We came up with the idea of having four different zones. The visitor would travel through a garden inspired by European hay meadows, then another by north American prairies, another by southern African grasslands and an Asian zone lush with coarse textured plants. I decided to divide each zone up into interweaving strips and fields. I tried to achieve something that looked painterly. It was a complex tapestry of plants and I had to produce many drawings to give the design team a visual of how the planting would look.
我们拿出的方案是把花园划分为四个区域。参观者将首先经过一座欧洲田园式公园，进入另一座北美 大草原式公园，然后来到一座非洲南部大草原式公园，最后进入长满各式纹理粗糙植物的亚洲式公园。我决定把每个区域划分成棋盘状的许多小区域，尝试营造一种 像图画一样的效果。我要通过不同植物的复杂组合来实现这种效果，要出很多图纸，以便让设计团队直观地看到。
The design was completed five years ago and the garden was planted last summer. It is by the main entrance as you come from Stratford across a bridge that spans a tributary of the River Lea. It’s a long, narrow garden: 800m long and 30m wide. It unfolds as you walk through it. You can’t ever see all the garden at any one point. The paths cross at different levels. It’s experiential. There will be waves of one colour then another, then back to a similar colour so that there is continuity and flow through each zone.
设计工作已于5年前完成，公园也已于去年夏天完工。我设计的公园在奥林匹克公园主入口旁边。从 斯特拉福(Stratford)穿过横跨利河(River Lea)支流的小桥，就能到达奥林匹克公园主入口。我设计的花园形状狭长，有800米长，30米宽。景色随参观者脚步所至而一点点呈现。在花园里任何一点 都无法尽览其全貌。园中不同道路不时交汇，错落有致。这是一种体验。在颜色的过渡方面，后一种颜色紧跟前一种颜色出现之后，与前一种颜色类似的另一种颜色 会接着出现，从而在每个区域内营造一种连贯而流动的效果。
I enjoy walking through the garden but ultimately plants will always surprise you. It’s those surprises that help to keep my natural designer’s self-criticism in check. A garden is never finished and it will always take on a life of its own. Most of all I’m pleased to have helped create an urban garden that I hope will last for generations to come.