Kim Wilkie - One of My 'Fave Raves'

"Each place has its own special character and identity - a continuous conversation between the physical form and the lives lived and shaped within it.

As landscape architects we try to understand the memories and associations embedded in a place and the natural flows of people, land, water and climate."

- Kim Wilkie, Kim Wilkie Associates

What a fabulous and right-on description of enlightened site design! Kudos to Kim Wilkie.

Following my paean to curves, I now present a master of curves in the landscape - Kim Wilkie....You must visit his company's website

This shallow reflecting pool at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London celebrates my favorite shape - the ellipse.

It has steps at each end and is studded with jets of water and bands of light. The central space can also become a dry stage or be filled with heavy fog for night lighting. Multi functional, for sure!

Wilkie writes, "A simple central ellipse that creates a calm centre to the garden surrounded by Liquidambars(sweet gums- Jan) , lawns, lemon trees and glass planters."  Don't you just want to step into that space?

It is such a joy for me to gush about someone's work.  Wilkie is a master of shape, form and people's desire for peace and tranquility outdoors....a kindred spirit...
Currently his firm is working on a project for Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. The combination of a favorite deisgner and a favorite place is just too sweet for me... like having strawberries and whipped cream.

Longwood Gardens was created by industrialist and philanthropist, Pierre S. du Pont in 1906. It was his country estate and his passion.  Mr. du Pont's gardens were intended, as he said,  to “exploit the sentiments and ideas associated with plants and flowers in a large way.” Large, indeed!  Today, Longwood encompasses 1,050 acres including woodlands and meadows, 20 outdoor gardens and 20 indoor garden rooms inside a four-acre conservatory complex, with nearly one million visitors each year.

So imagine how exciting it is to have Kim Wilkie focus his gaze upon this area:

Longwood invited Wilkie to design a new square and performance area in front of the new East Conservatory. The proposal incorporates sweeping grass terraces that obscure an architect's domed, sky lit restrooms. A glass roofed spine will channel people through walls of orchids and ferns. Wilkie is working with  local project Landscape Architects Wells Appel.


The plan view of the space reveals a simple outdoor congregation area dominated with gently sweeping lines... simplicity is the hardest thing to master as a designer.  Take note:

Cheers to Kim Wilkie! May he continue to thrive and prosper....and make beautiful, calming spaces for us all to enjoy.


  1. I think Kim Wilkie is one of the most elegant garden designers around, Great celebratory article - thanks

  2. I love ellipses...they have such a serene simplicity. Longwood Gardens is one of my favorite places. I can't wait for my next visit!

    I'm intrigued by what you wrote about Kim Wilkie...I have to find out more about his work.

    Thanks for another great post!

  3. What a great post. That pool at the V&A is a favourite of mine.


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