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July 2006


MEET THE DESIGNER

Roberto Fernandez
by Alexa Stevenson

A FORMER POLO PLAYER PARLAYS HIS LOVE FOR THE OUTDOORS INTO LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

You're from Argentina. How did you end up as a landscape architect in Connecticut? After college, I came to the U.S. to play amateur polo in Palm Beach. There, Martin Gruss gave me my start by bringing me to Greenwich to manage his polo farm and gardens. It was then that I reconnected with the passion for gardening my father instilled in me as a young boy.[Image]What type of garden do you love? Formal European. What are your favorite elements of a landscape? Water features, paths, hedges and ornamental features. What's one thing no landscape should be without? Balance. Favorite flowers and plants? Boxwoods, hornbeams, hydrangea and tropical plants.What gives any garden instant impact? A focal point such as an urn or water feature. What inspires you? Riding horses through the back country of Greenwich. It affords me the luxury of seeing gardens I wouldn't otherwise see from the road. What's your design philosophy? To compose a tranquil place of beauty through balance and simple design. I love making something that is average into something beautiful, or maintaining the character of an existing garden. What's your guilty design pleasure? Antique ornamental garden pieces. I always cringe when I see: Forgotten gardens that are overgrown, not maintained and not appreciated. Who has had a profound impact on your work? Edwina von Gal and James Doyle. I strongly believe: Simplicity is soothing. When is your most creative time of the day? Any time of day when I walk with my clients through their gardens. Describe your perfect day: A day without my cell phone. What do you do when you aren't working? Ride horses with my wife and spend time with my kids. What would you do for work if you weren't a landscape architect? I would be a private pilot. I love planes. I earned my private pilot's license when I was 16. Describe your home: An English cottage on 22 acres where I live with my wife, children, horses and two dogs. What book is on your bedside table? Garden Style by Penelope Hobhouse. Describe your clients: Successful people who love their gardens. Nothing gives me more pleasure than when they feel passionately about a garden I created or maintain.

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