Mark Fenton Designs

Blog

January 2017

Pieces of me: My career in four desk objects

desk pic

The Succulent. I became passionate about collecting plants as a teenager and had a small greenhouse bursting at the seams with cacti and succulents. This is one of the remaining plants from that time and is a reminder of catching the ‘gardening bug’ that led to a career in landscape.

Scale Rule. I’ve managed to keep hold of the same one since my Myerscough College days of 2003. The course equipped me in many ways for the work I do today and during my time there I did a show garden which helped launch my studio.

Wooden Seed. From 2005 I ran a business selling garden statues and this giant seedhead was a prototype for a range of features I looked at having made. In part my experience in business led to me working at Wyre Council, and as my studio grew I ceased trading in the statues. Today the seedhead is a memento from that time and a lovely paperweight.

Pencils and pens. I’ve spent time developing the style of my drawings and always have something to hand to scribble with. Sketching helps express my creative urges, recently I worked on a series of pen and ink illustrations of local scenes, and sold these at a little exhibition!

November 2016

Last year I drew up a plan for a garden that sloped away from the client’s house and which contained a number of mature trees. The gradient offered the opportunity to create an interesting sequence of useable spaces and to integrate a number of garden buildings.

I recently caught-up with my clients who are undertaking most of the landscape work themselves. They’ve been busy constructing a store and workshop, which is combined with fencing and a pergola-like structure to create a seating area which will feel private and make the most of the later evening sun.

october-works

The photos show their work so far and my plans for the garden with elevations of the timber work. It was lovely to see how hard they’ve worked to achieve the curves of the timber edged pathways and their attention to detail with the arrangement of larch cladding in different widths.

early-sketch

elevations

October 2016

I have just finished a plan for the area of a front garden which backs onto the wooded boundary of Astley Park. Taking inspiration from the surroundings and client’s passion for plants I developed an ornamental-woodland scheme with choice plants, specimen Japanese Maples and timber sculptures. The plants will be arranged in carefully planned groups, framing the focal points and set off with bark mulch and pieces of log, which will tie the area together as a whole.

r-close-illustration
Another project includes trees which pose a design challenge due to their size, the mature pines, sycamores and beech dominate the house and garden spaces. There’s an opportunity to relate the scale of the trees down too that of the house and surrounding garden, making their presence in the landscape feel more cohesive.
The design I’m developing for the rear of the property will use the arrangement, scale and aesthetic qualities of water, planting and lawns in a striking way so as to hold the eye firmly, reducing the immediate dominance of these trees as at present your attention is drawn to them too quickly.
Developing the ground beneath the trees with pathways, planting and sculpture will help to soften their visual presence when walking beneath them. This will also integrate them within the garden, at present there is no relation in terms of use and experience nor between the garden and the fields beyond them.