To define garden design, first we have to decide what a garden is. Personally, I love the idea that for something to be considered a garden there has to be a gardener: there is a poetic circularity in the definition. Some would argue that garden design is a branch of landscape design. It is not less of a skill for that, if anything the reverse. There is ‘nowhere to hide’ in garden design. Every element is important and there is no chance of fudging the design.
The Government’s proposals to reform the planning system (the National Planning Policy Framework or NPPF, in tandem with the Localism Bill) could have far-reaching effects on the local environment – indeed that is the intention. Quite how it will play out in practice is another matter.