As practice principal, I’m delighted to introduce our newest team member, Ian Jakeway, who brings a host of experience and talent to Ann-Marie Powell Gardens. Here, in his own words, he describes what makes him tick.
Ian, welcome to AMPG.
“I have always loved being outside and look back at fond memories of landscape experienced as a child, with country walks exploring with my dad seeking the very best fly fishing, climbing trees in the Gower and searching for fossils.
So, yes, gardens and gardening has been a keen interest of mine from an early age, I won my first Garden Design Award when I was about 8 for a miniature garden competition at school. (I confess my main memory of this was disappointment when my First Prize was a large chocolate Easter bunny instead of the Cadbury’s Crème eggs that the runner ups were awarded!).
I’m from Gloucester (so I have a Gloucester/West Country twang to my accent), and Gloucester is where I started my career as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator after attending Art College for 4 years where I gained a National Diploma and HND in ‘Information Technology’ (Graphic Design).
After 18 years as a Graphic Designer, Visualiser and Illustrator, I took a trip to New Zealand, a horticultural wonderland, which inspired me to pursue my passion for plants and gardens. On my return, I enrolled at the University of Gloucestershire, and I was amazed when I graduated in 2004 with a First Class Honours degree in Landscape Architecture and was also awarded the School of Environment Prize for Best Student. I then immediately progressed with my postgraduate diploma and was also accepted as a Member of the Landscape Institute.
My first job as a Landscape Architect was at Landscape Design Associates in Oxford, then at Colvin & Moggridge Landscape Architects in the Cotswolds. Lunch times were often spent at the Cotswold Wildlife Park Gardens in all seasons, which complimented the large private estate projects I was involved in at C&M. I loved working on these projects. I found researching the historical aspects of the original gardens, then restoring certain historic elements with a slight contemporary bent, especially rewarding.
I eventually went freelance, continuing to work for C&M, whilst progressing with new and exciting clients such as Thomas Hoblyn, Hugo Bugg and Christopher Deakin, as well as practices such as International Design Group, where I worked in the public realm and on International leisure projects in India and Dubai.
Freelancing for a variety of organisations is great fun, and exhilarating, but freelance also means working mainly in solitude. After ten years working mostly from home, I realised I would like to work in a team again, and Ann-Marie Powell Gardens has an impeccable industry wide reputation. So, here I am, the newest member of the Ann-Marie Powell Gardens Team… and finally located much closer to the coast! I just need to join a BSAC dive club now and maybe get an old Kawasaki 550 Jet Ski like I used to have and get back in/onto the water!
So, although I have a new home, I suppose I’ve known for some years now that I have already found my professional home in landscape design. It’s the wildness of the genre that keeps me interested; I’m never happier than scrambling through the countryside appreciating the seasonality of everyday natural occurrences such as wild garlic or mushroom season, wildlife cycles, or even something as simple experiencing the new foliage unfurling on trees. All these things makes me feels alive and connected.
As a landscape and garden designer, my love for the craft of creating landscapes, combined with a background in graphics and illustration, spills into my distinctive hand drawn landscape and garden plans whilst igniting my Vectorworks drawings, visuals and sketch views, and bringing life to my photomontage and 3D work.
Oh, yes, I also like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain, I’m not much into health food, I am into champagne. I look forward to working with you.”