Luciano Giubbilei, internationally renowned award-winning garden designer, shares some favourite websites.

Luciano Giubbilei is an internationally renowned garden designer whose numerous awards include three RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medals and Best in Show (2014). Luciano was born in Siena, Italy and moved to London in 1994 to study at the Inchbald School of Design before establishing his own practice in 1997. His gardens are known for their understated elegance and serenity, and for a unique aesthetic that combines plants, materials, light, space and craftsmanship. Since 2012, Luciano has been working on an experimental border at Great Dixter, in close collaboration with head gardener, Fergus Garrett.


His new book, The Art of Making Gardens (£45 Merrell Publishers), with photographs by Andrew Montgomery, is a beautifully illustrated and deeply personal account of how Luciano’s experience of being a contemporary garden designer in a historic garden has enabled his style to develop in unforeseen ways.

LUCIANO'S FAVOURITE SITES

Hole & Corner - Describes itself as being 'about people who spend more time doing than talking.' It’s a celebration of craft, beauty and passion, all of which are major influences in my work as a garden designer. The website features a fascinating and diverse range of articles, interviews and films, providing insights into everything from wild swimming to designing textiles and milling flour. An interview with a former member of my team, the fabulous potter, Jono Smart, is a great example, exploring Jono's move from garden design to setting up his own studio. Hole & Corner is full of inspiring stories about incredibly talented people who are following their dreams. The print edition is fantastic too.

Nowness - This video channel is another great source of inspiration. The online films are beautifully shot and seem to fit an amazing amount of content into a brief amount of time so they're ideal if you're looking for a spot of culture while you're on the move or in a hurry... or both! Topics range from art and design to gardening, fashion and food so I always find plenty to choose from. Nowness is a great resource for anyone interested in contemporary art and culture.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park - I'm fascinated by what I call in my book 'the space between', in other words not just the objects in a garden but the way we move around those objects and the spaces they create. This is played out on a large scale at the ever-inspiring Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield where visitors can wander between the exhibits. The website is full of detailed information about the sculptures and includes everything from interviews with the artists to exhibition previews so you can really get the most out of your visit or you can simply enjoy a virtual tour. The extraordinary Swiss sculptor Not Vital’s first major UK exhibition will be taking place at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park from 21st May until 2nd January 2017 and the website is the perfect place for a preview of the works, some of which have been specially created for the Underground Gallery, that will be on display.

Andrew Montgomery - As a very visual person myself, I’m always intrigued by the way in which other people see things and the details that they notice, so I love looking at online galleries of photographs. I think this is true for many people, which probably partly explains the popularity of things like Instagram. Andrew’s photographs are poetic and they each tell a story, whether he’s photographing coalminers in the Midlands, recording the intricate work of a calligrapher or capturing the transient beauty of a garden. His online portfolio opens the door onto completely different worlds, many of which would otherwise be hidden from view.

Great Dixter - One of the country’s most famous gardens and one that’s usually high on any garden lover’s list of places to visit. The website features wonderfully evocative illustrated tours of the house and garden along with insights into planting choices and design inspiration provided by the late Christopher Lloyd (who devoted his life to the garden) and Great Dixter’s head gardener, Fergus Garrett. It also contains details of Fergus’s latest courses and symposia so it’s always worth keeping an eye on, since places understandably disappear rapidly. I’ve been working on a border at Great Dixter for the last few years – and my book explores how spending time at one the country’s most historic gardens has been shaping my work as a contemporary garden designer – and the website keeps me up-to-date with what’s happening at Great Dixter between my visits.

Favourite App... Instagram - I realise that this isn’t exactly a revelation but Instagram is the app I use day in, day out since it’s such a fantastic visual aid for my work. I can instantly upload photographs of my latest projects and design inspirations, and I love being able to see what’s inspiring other people. It’s endlessly stimulating and thought-provoking, and I’ve found the most talented craftspeople through Instagram.

18 May 2016

Photographs courtesy of Andrew Montgomery