Q&A with Manoj Malde, An Award-Winning Garden Designer - Skize

Q&A with Manoj Malde, An Award-Winning Garden Designer

25 September, 2020

Manoj Malde is an award-winning garden designer, writer and public speaker. Although raised in the UK, he attributes much of his love of colour to his ethnic background and Indian ancestry. As a graduate of the Master’s programme in fashion design at the Royal College of Art, Manoj’s career has taken him to Italy, Germany, New York, Hong Kong and India. He worked in the fashion industry for 18 years, latterly as creative director. Manoj then studied garden design at the English Gardening School and uses much of his fashion experience within his present career as a landscape designer. Although the materials have changed, his thought process still begins with themes, mood boards, colour palettes and textures. Manoj has a wealth of knowledge and design experience. Manoj works closely with his private clients to create a unique space that reflects their personality. He also works with architects, interior designers and corporate organisations. Read on for his expert tips on balcony gardening, gardening in autumn and much more

Photos above of a Roof Garden photographed by Paul de Bois

1. What top garden trends do you predict for 20-21?

Gardens are now seen as another room and an extension of our homes. This is really driving the trends in garden furniture and there is such an excellent selection out there. Outdoor kitchens are really on trend. People are more conscious about wildlife and so planting for wildlife as well as our own wellbeing is on trend. A more looser, slightly unkept garden is much more trendy. Gone are the days when a garden has to be immaculately manicured.

2. What tips can you give gardeners for gardening in autumn?

Start preparing for next year. The bulb catalogues are out. It’s a fun time of year to be choosing bulbs and the colour scheme that you would like in the garden. I have just posted a blog on spring bulbs on my website to help gardeners. Bulbs can also be grown in containers so they are perfect for balcony spaces.

3. What tips can you give for balcony gardeners wanting to add more colours to their outdoor space?

Colour does not have to come through flowers. Think about splashes of colour through soft furnishings like a beautiful outdoor rug and throw cushions. How about some beautiful coloured glazed pots or grp containers that are available in an infinite number of colours. If you want to bring in colour through plants try and select plants that have longevity in their flowering period or ones that will get a second flush of blooms.

4. Where do you get your garden designing inspiration from?

I draw inspirations from all sorts of areas. Through architecture, paintings by the great masters, travel and culture, history. Having Indian ancestry and having been born in Kenya subconsciously a lot of inspiration of colour comes through my own personal background especially as my previous career was as a creative director in the fashion industry.

5. What has been your favourite project to work on and why?

One of my favourite projects was creating my Chelsea Flower Show garden ‘Beneath a Mexican Sky’. This was inspired by the work of Mexican architect Luis Barragan and his bold use of colour in his work. It had always been an ambition of mine to create a show garden at Chelsea. This was my first ever submission and it got selected by the judging panel. It was intense and for one year I was living and breathing that garden. I had an amazingly talented team around me and my sponsors Inland Homes Plc gave me free reign on the design. I could not have asked for more. The garden received lots of editorial coverage both nationally and internationally. It also made two front covers of magazines.

6. What’s in the pipeline for you?

I am working on a wonderful project at the moment with a talented architects practice. The clients are an absolute joy to work with and they really listen and take onboard the advice that I am giving them. I love working with architects and would love to collaborate with more architects. I am also training to become an RHS Judge.

Photos Above by Jonathan Buckley of Manoj’s Chelsea Flower Show Garden called Beneath a Mexican Sky

Visit www.manojmaldegardendesign.co.uk for more.