James was raised in the Highlands of New Guinea on a coffee plantation. He was introduced to gardening by my mother. His first interest in gardening was collecting and growing orchids which he collected from the rainforests behind the plantation.

He intended to study Horticulture after finishing school, just as his family left New Guinea, but was distracted by the Arts and studied Philosophy and the Classics instead. This was followed by years of European travel and completing a BA at Australian Film TV & Radio School in Directing. After a decade or so of writing, producing and directing films & television, his passion for plants was reignited, mainly by bringing up two children. This passion for plants developed to a point where he took up garden designing & installing professionally. 

Growing up in the tropics it took some time to embrace the Australian flora that has adapted to a much drier environment. It took some time to appreciate the incredible diversity of plants in this country. There are some 2,000 native flowering plants in the Sydney region alone making it one of the great wildflower regions of the world. Then there are about 18,000 native flowering plants in Australia. By comparison there are 47 native flowering plants in the UK. It is bewildering that many Australian garden designers and most Australian gardens ignore the wonder that surrounds us. 

His interest in design came from an appreciation of composition; an awareness of space, time, light, depth, movement, colour and sound. These are a qualities of image making. 

Gardens are a connection to nature, but nature ordered in a particular way. The great challenge in designing a garden is to create the right order. The garden must also connect in an intrinsic way to the house and to the needs of those living in that house.

He now collects Australian native orchids, and doesn’t take them from the bush.


Work Experience

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