5 minutes with... Marcus Barnett
In celebration of the Chelsea Flower Show, today's '5 minutes with...' interview is with landscape and garden designer Marcus Barnett, who has just picked up a gold medal at RHS Chelsea for his stunning design for The Telegraph Garden.
Inspired by the De Stijl movement, this is Marcus's fifth show garden for Chelsea. The design features strong rectilinear geometry created by paths, waterways and blocks of colour and texture in varying sizes. Trees and hedges add vertical and sculptural form while also providing dappled shade.
"I could not be more delighted," said Marcus earlier today upon picking up his gold medal. "Any nerves have been replaced with relief as well as an overwhelming sense of gratitude to everyone in my team as well as The Daily Telegraph for putting their faith in me. Chelsea provides the perfect opportunity to push the boundaries and create something a bit different and we had great fun creating this garden."
Which three words best describe your work and design ethos?
Impact, romance and joy.
Who or what inspires you?
Excellence in almost any field - particularly in the arts and architecture, the team I work with and last but not least nature.
What is your most treasured object in your own home?
My collection of Pink Floyd vinyl!
Where's your favourite place to be?
On Brancaster beach with my wife and children.
What would you be if you weren't a designer?
Unemployed probably - I can't imagine doing anything else. Perhaps I would be an architect.
What are you reading right now?
'Beyond Happiness' by the headmaster of Wellington College, Anthony Seldon.
Which words of wisdom do you try to live by?
Once on a drive from one military base to another in the early nineties I was listening to an interview with a business magnate on Radio 4. It was the early nineties and I stumbled in on the interview having missed the beginning. As the interview came to an end, the interviewer summarised their conversation by saying: "So, is it fair to say that you waited for your ship to come in?" The guest slammed the desk that must have separated them both and raising his voice replied: "Have you not listened to a word I've said? I did not wait for my ship to come in, I went out to meet it."
I have never forgotten that and believe it to be a great approach to life.
Images via The RHS