People Who Plant: Neil Best – Landscape Architect & Stone Builder

Neil Best is a landscape architect and builder whose favorite part of the job is getting his hands dirty and using stone to create timeless outdoor spaces. Along with his wife, Samantha, who is also a landscape architect and who specializes in planting, they create gardens. Their company, Magma Design in Rehoboth, MA, works throughout New England creating gardens that celebrate beautiful regional stone.

In the Autumn 2015 issue of PITH + VIGOR we share some of Neil’s advice about working with stone and in our  interview we asked about philospophy, his design inspiration, and just about everything else we could think might be interesting… these were a couple of my favorite answers – Rochelle

Neil Best Landscape arcitect and stone builder and interview for pith + vigor www.pithandvigor

Q.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

A.

“I’d be a sneaker designer. I just love sneakers. I love the design, the colors, the idea of mixing and matching. I like the specifications you would have to come up with. I think I could do a great job with the structure and durability of them, especially for work boots. It seems fun.”

Q.

Where do you find design inspiration?

A.

“I know it sounds corny but most of my inspiration comes from the natural world around me. Although lately I have been influenced by, of all things, vintage wallpaper patterns.”

Q.

What is your favorite plant?

A.

“Any Rheum. I love the big, bold, foliage. I like how it stands out in the New England landscape; foliage like that reminds me of some place tropical. I also have a soft spot for Ergynium. I love its spikiness, texture and subdued color. I think it looks like an alien. It’s quirky.”

Stone circles by Neil Best stone artist via www.pithandvigor.com

Excerpted from the Autumn 2015 Print Issue of PITH + VIGOR –  To read the full story as well as learn more about building with stone, visit the P+V shop to order your copy.  

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About Rochelle Greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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1 Comment

  1. Kevin on October 4, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Great piece – always considered being a landscape architect…maybe in my other career ten years down the line 🙂

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