Garden Designer, Ian Drummond, is Creative Director of the Indoor Garden Design Company alongside Pippa Robinson and David Grace. A true north London boy, Ian uses garden and horticultural design to express his understanding of city living. He has worked on art installations for the Barbican Art Gallery and on the ‘Living with Nature’ Exhibition at St. Pancras Station. He has also scooped up an impressive array of medals for design schemes and interior gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Ian’s work mainly focuses on creative projects – film premieres, fashion shows and charity functions, including the BAFTAs and the annual Sir Elton John Aids Foundation’s White Tie and Tiara Ball.

 


 

When did you first discover your talent for horticultural design?

My first interest in horticulture started while I was only four and my father gave me a window box with house plants in it for my bedroom and it’s been a lifelong passion since then.  I started an apprenticeship, while still only 16 and I’ve never looked back.

 

How much creative freedom do you have when you are designing your installations? 

I tend to have more creative freedom when it’s a one-off event – essentially a client will give me a  brief on the theme and then I am able to interpret it and take it from there.  With commercial landscaping it’s slightly different because so many other factors come into play – it’s going to be a permanent display, or likely to be in place for a very long time so it’s important that the installation harmonises with the existing look of the interior environment.   It is also likely that the installation will have a function that is more than decorative, for example to provide screening or to create different areas within the space,  so all these things have to be considered.  It’s most exciting when we are brought in at the planning stage of a new building, and then anything is possible!

 

 

What has been the proudest moment of your career?

My first book ‘At Home with Plants’ has just been published and I couldn’t be more excited about it – it’s the realisation of a dream. Another great high was in 2015 when our installation for Hotel Floristry in the Grand Pavilion  at RHS Chelsea Flower Show won both Gold and Best in Show.

 

You have worked on some pretty sensational projects, what is the most visually flamboyant one you have worked on?

Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara Ball was incredible.  We were given a brief to create something extraordinary and we really went for it with a life-size vintage 1956 Cadillac.  We researched the dimensions of the car then built a structure made of wood and chicken wire which was then planted with hundreds of bedding and houseplants, and the exterior of the car was covered with moss.  The organisers wanted it to be the main central feature of the night – there were speakers positioned beneath it, playing Motown, and all the drinks waiters were dressed as mechanics.  It was fantastic.

What made you want to write your book on designing with plants in the home, rather than with flowers?

Living plants has always been my real passion – I have a great love of houseplants.  They are so fashionable now too, more popular than at any other time, so the timing of it has been serendipitous.

 

Which book has most influenced you during the course of your career?

In terms of artistic influences, I would definitely say Paul Smith’s You Can Find Inspiration in Everything – (And if You Can’t, Look Again). I greatly admire his artistic take on the world and it’s a book I return to time and time again. Additionally, Alexander McQueen was such a visionary, and continues to inspire through his body of work.

 

Scroll down to discover Ian Drummond’s favourite books about plants and designing with plants, along with his new book At Home With Plants.

At Home with Plants

Ian Drummond and Kara O’Reilly

Focusing on the hot new trend of decorating with house plants, Drummond teaches us how to use these magestical creatures to make a beautiful and standout statement in our homes.

Botanicum (Welcome to the Museum)

By Kathy Willis

The intoxicating cocktail of fascinating facts coupled with stunning artwork, this book not only looks fantastic, but will teach you a thing or three about plants.

Ann-Marie Powell’s Plans for Small Gardens

By Ann-Marie Powell

An easy to follow guide step-by-step guide to helping you create your own beautiful oasis.

 

 

The RHS Encyclopedia of Houseplants

By Kenneth A. Beckett

A thoughtful and thorough guide to identifying and caring for house plants. This book is the best friend to any green fingered hopeful.

At Home with Plants by Ian Drummond & Kara O’Reilly, published by Mitchell Beazley, £20 www.octopusbooks.co.uk   Photos © Nick Pope