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GLDA’s 20th International Garden Design Seminar Saturday 20 February 2016, Dublin

Ebb & Flow
Redrawing the design boundaries between East & West
The GLDA’s 20th International Garden Design Seminar
Saturday 20 February 2016
at Crowne Plaza Dublin, Northwood Park, Santry, Dublin 9

To celebrate our 20th international design seminar, the Garden & Landscape Designers Association (GLDA) has looked, beyond the confines of these islands, towards the East.

Through our speakers, leading designers and plants people from both East and West, we will explore how the East’s traditions and cutting edge contemporary design and planting philosophy, complements and interconnects with that of the West and vice versa.

While designers from the East have often come to the West to learn some of their trade, many European designers have also been drawn eastward, tempted by the opportunity of working on large-scale projects.

How have these designers from East and West made the transition and how has it influenced their design philosophy? We hear from Andrew Wilson, a leading British garden designer, and his experiences of working on projects in Singapore and China.

Much iconic landscape design from China has caught the attention of western designers. Mr Xiaowei Ma, who has studied in the west, along with his colleague Mrs Xiao Ying Xie belong to this progressive school of landscape design, and we will hear about some of the ambitious projects currently happening in China, and how western and eastern philosophies synergise to create these iconic landscapes.

Looking to India, where the classical, disciplined Mughal garden style lives happily alongside ambitious post-independence and post-modern restorations and ecologically sensitive projects, we are delighted to welcome Aniket Bhagwat, landscape architect, whose inspirational designs are transforming India’s landscapes. He says: “Every plant must matter. Every flower must find its place in the scheme of things. Every light on the street or pathway must be carefully crafted. Every bench must be detailed like a diamond. And every act of design must celebrate the gift of life.

We hear from the great seafaring Netherlands, with its rich, centuries old tradition of horticulture, plant collecting and trading in plant material between East and West. From Cor van Gelderen we will hear the story of three generations of intrepid Dutch plantsmen, plant collecting in the East and about the extraordinary town of Boskoop, once home to 1,000 nurseries, beautifully laid out in long sloping plots down to the river.

The GLDA’s annual seminar is widely regarded as Ireland’s foremost platform for the dissemination of ideas and information on contemporary garden making and landscape shaping. It also has a reputation for being entertaining and thought provoking, while remaining relevant to every facet of the industry, from plant production to architecture.

Last year’s event was entirely sold out, so early booking is strongly advised.

The Speakers

Aniket Bhagwat is a partner at Prabhakar Bhagwat, India’s most innovative and influential firm of landscape designers. The firm (founded by his father Prabhakar Bhagwat) was largely responsible for establishing the landscape architecture profession in India in the early 1950s. It has initiated many research projects and university courses, and over half of its 30 plus staff are academics. As well as designing landscapes, the firm employs several architects, manufactures traditional building materials such as bricks, and commissions a variety of art and craft features. It has offices in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, and handles a wide array of projects, ranging from small residential gardens to planning for new cities.

Cor van Gelderen is a highly regarded plantsman, designer, nurseryman and author, from Boskoop in The Netherlands where he runs the family nursery Firma C Esveld, established in 1865. It is one of the world’s great specialist nurseries, famous for its conifers, maples, rhododendrons, and other woody plants. Cor advised in the rejuvenation of the Japanese Garden inside the Tulip Garden in the world famous Keukenhof in Lisse. He also advised for similar projects in The Hague (Park Clingendael) and in Northern France. He is well versed in the Eastern work of the Dutch and other European plant hunters and on the history of Boskoop, once the mecca of horticulture.

Xiaowei Ma graduated from the Beijing Forestry University before receiving a degree in landscape architecture in the USA. He then worked for Sasaki Associates and other American firms before returning to China to set up the Ager Group in 2001. This background has given Mr Ma a deep understanding of both Western and Eastern landscape architecture.

The Ager Group is an architecture, landscape architecture and planning firm employing over 120 people, and has offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Boston. Ager’s 12 principals include Chinese, Phillipino and American nationalities amongst many others, and almost all of them have international education or work experience, creating a diversity that Mr Ma sees as essential in today’s global practice.

His work is included in a recently published book ‘30:30 Landscape Architecture’, as is that of Mrs Xiao Ying Xie. The book features some of the best-known and most established landscape architects in the world as well as the best and brightest of the next generation of designers.

Mrs Xiao Ying Xie is a landscape architect with her own practice in Beijing. She strongly believes in establishing cross-realm collaborations and interdisciplinary approaches as is evident in her work at Shandong Linzi Qi Heritage Museum, at Fujian Zhangzhou Xixi wetland country park (the first and only wetland park in China combining urban life, farming and culture), and at Jinglin Hotel, Beijing. She works closely with planners, architects, designers and artists in designing contemporary urban, rural and public spaces all over China.

Andrew Wilson is a British landscape architect garden designer, lecturer and writer. He is a partner in Wilson McWilliam Studio and founded The London College of Garden Design. He has judged for the Royal Horticultural Society at the Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court and Tatton Park and is also a judge at Bloom Garden Festival. He wrote a regular column for Gardens Illustrated and contributes to the Royal Horticultural Society’s journal The Garden alongside the production of a series of books, the most recent of which are Influential Gardeners, The Book of Garden Plans, and The Book of Plans for Small Gardens, The Gardens of Luciano Guibbilei, and Contemporary Colour in the Garden. He is also the founding editor of The Garden Design Journal [and is a former Chairman and currently a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers, the UK’s professional body for garden design.


The day will be provocative and challenging, but above all, totally fascinating and definitely an experience not to be missed. or email Tel: 01 294 0092
Registered & Pre-Registered Members of the GLDA €70.00
Friends €70.00
Students €65.00
Non-Members €90.00

(Special early bird non-members rate of €75 if booked before Dec 23rd)

Prices include morning coffee, lunch, and afternoon refreshments


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