January 26, 2021

Designing local


Managing director of desert INK landscape architects, Duncan Denley advocates the use of local planting and resources as the region’s landscaping culture comes of age. Ten years ago the region was a place of mimicry, with architects borrowing ideas from overseas and fighting back the harsh desert environment as best they could. Lush green parks and tropical jungles proliferated and we congratulated ourselves on how green it all looked.  Like a musician who starts out learning the music of others before graduating to his own melodies, this region is now poised to write its own songs. It would seem that…

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The big interview: Kamelia Bin Zaal


Pro Landscaper Gulf interviews the first Emirati to design a show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. We ask Kamelia Bin Zaal, Creative Director at Al Barari, about her career in garden design, how she got involved with the prestigious London event and why she’s planning for a greener future in her home country. How did you get into garden design? I grew up watching my father, who was always in the garden. He loves flowers and the sense of peace a garden can give. I worked in the government for four years and while I enjoyed it, I…

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The big interview: Muhammad Nadeem Anwar


Muhammad Nadeem Anwar tells us about his young company Hortus Landscaping Works LLC which is thriving in the Dubai landscaping market. Tell us a little about yourself… I have a master’s degree in landscape horticulture and have horticultural certifications from the UK, Australia and Singapore, so I am one of the most qualified people in this field within the UAE. I am a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and the UK’s Landscape Institute – one of the world’s leading landscape architecture institutions. How long has Hortus been in business? Hortus is just about three years old now but I…

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Rocky Road


Award-winning designer John Wyer of Bowles & Wyer was charged with creating a garden in sympathy with the landscape and architecture of an avant-garde Rocky Mountain retreat. The initial contact from the clients came in an email message in June 2009: “We are in desperate need of landscaping advice… landscaping is an overwhelming blank slate… HELP!” The site was a 4.5ha plot on the western slopes of the Rockies near Spokane, Washington State, in the north-western United States. It was overwhelmingly populated by ponderosa pine, with little else other than granite boulders. With an average annual precipitation of around 30cm…

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Floating on air


Space Landscape Designs created a resort-style swimming pool using wet edges to create the illusion it floats on air. The brief was to create a modern pool unique to the area with a resort-like aesthetic. The idea of the four-sided wet edge pool was to give the illusion that the water was floating. The clients wanted an international design team experienced with swimming pool design. Cost wasn’t a factor, but experience was paramount. Planting was to be as low maintenance as possible and tropical. Design and build As the job was designed in Oman it was important that the plans…

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Singapore high stakes


Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam of Wilson McWilliam Studio review their success at the Singapore Garden Festival, where they won both Gold and Best of Show – Landscape Garden for their garden Sacred Grove. When the invitation to exhibit at the Singapore Garden Festival came, Gavin and I leapt at the opportunity – it was a chance to design for a different climate in a show that’s attracting worldwide attention. The garden would be in the open air, located on the Meadow, a circle of grass within Gardens by the Bay (all previous shows have been indoors). The meadow is…

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Living Landscape


Award-winning London design studio Baharash Architecture saw off a shortlist of prominent international practices to land the second phase of the 46ha Dubai Sustainable City project. Dubai Sustainable City is a project that will cover 46ha with 550 residential villas, organic farms, educational facilities and 600,000sq ft of solar panels. Each house within the city will be equipped with solar panels, which will provide residents with 60% of their energy needs. The project will also feature a smart water system that will reduce the water demand of buildings by 30%. Grey and waste water will be used to irrigate plants…

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Value added


In the first of a two-part series, Katie Hilal from TerraVerde talks about the value a landscaped garden can add to a home. When is the right time to renovate a garden? In my opinion it’s always the right time. Your client may have a preference as to the time of year, depending on whether they want to be around when the work is done or if they prefer to be away. However, there are other determining factors influencing when landscaping works should begin, especially with different procedures to be followed from the relevant developers here in the region. In…

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Care of urban trees in arid regions


Landscaper and arborist Mark Laurence discusses some of the problems faced by the arboriculture industry in modern Middle Eastern cities. Trees are essential in all cities and especially so in arid climates. Cities like Dubai have grown fast and the landscape industry has emerged to create the human spaces in between buildings. It is true to say that not all maintenance skills have developed as quickly and tree care is a case in point. This is not surprising; even in the UK with its established arboriculture industry, I see trees that are badly pruned. In modern Middle Eastern cities where…

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Peace prize

Richard Miers talks us through his entry for the Gardening World Cup in Japan in September 2012. The Gardening World Cup, held in Huis Ten Bosch Nagasaki, was conceived by Japanese designer Mr Ishihara (Japan’s equivalent of Alan Titchmarsh and Monty Don rolled into one) who lives near to and was affected by the bomb dropped close to Nagasaki by the Americans at the end of World War 2. Its theme is world peace, through the therapeutic act of gardening and enjoying well designed gardens, and it is held in a replica Dutch theme park the size of Monaco. For…

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