Masterclass with Dr. Nigel Dunnett

I was both taken by surprise and transfixed by Nigel’s introduction:

‘We are bound into nature, we are tied tight to nature, this bond is buried and hidden in people explaining our affinity for nature, it is in our core, it is inescapable. Nature makes us feel complete’. Bold statements, I love them!

He says his mission is to provoke positive emotions in people (i.e. Joy), offering an immersive experience; ecology and biodiversity are secondary. Think back to the stunning Olympic park plantings, mass pictorial meadows on derelict sites with paths mown through and check out his more recent roof garden at the Barbican.

Then there is his skill in ‘layering’ where the planting schemes change through the season like a never ending roman candle firework, finally coming to rest in the winter with a strong structure (a garden should be judged in the winter not in the summer).

I have come away from the day with my head buzzing with plant combinations and the challenge to increase my plant densities, cramming my borders in search of an even better roman candle effect.

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