D A P H N E E D W A R D S L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T E C T U R E
P H I L O S O P H Y
Each design begins with an actual place, a living landscape. The first step is always to sit still, look and listen. The “genius loci,” or protective spirit of the place, reveals itself in patterns of light and shadow as the day moves on. Intuition counts. Beauty matters.
Daphne was trained in a modernist tradition. Clean, legible lines form the basis of her landscape designs. Contrasting gestures of lively plantings bring color and movement to the ordered framework.
The best ideas do not always come from the designer, but rather from clients themselves. One client’s granddaughter inspired a whole section of the garden with a fingerpainting. Another client, an amateur horticulturalist, helped dream up unusual plant combinations during a day of nursery visits with Daphne. Another’s background in art history inspired a Mondrian-esque composition featuring a rectangular bed of lavender just for the family dog. Clients are wise; sometimes all that is needed to unlock this wisdom is the attentive ear of a trained designer, and a little judicious editing.
DELA believes there is no substitute for presence on site during construction. Daphne's architect grandfather used to say, “If you don’t inspect it, don’t expect it.” The truth is, designs never look the same in the field as they do on paper. We trust our contractors to exercise beautiful craftsmanship and care, but as designers we are always available for questions and take seriously the job of watching, communicating and making adjustments on site.
Revered Bay Area garden designer Tommy Church once said “Unlike people,gardens never strive for perpetual youth. They want to look old from the day they were born. Their beauty comes from maturity.” The best landscapes feel at peace now, but aspire to mature with grace and optimism.
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