Phil Skerritt first established his garden design and build landscaping company called Enchanting Gardens back in 1992. Since then, he has become well known locally and internationally, for his innovative and bespoke garden design and landscaping service. Phil considers himself as a conservationist in the pure sense of the word because of the work he does on a daily basis.
The very nature of his profession dictates that he designs and builds gardens, and in doing so, he has the moral responsibility to be sympathetic to the natural surroundings. Many of the gardens that he has been involved with entail, creating natural wildlife habitats by trying to emulate nature through planting native species to attract pollinating insects and birds.
These wildlife habitats range from temperate woodlands to wildflower meadows, grasslands and wetlands which support aquatic and amphibious life, invertebrates and terrestrial land mammals. Ultimately, Phil tries to build gardens that are ecologically balanced and harmonious in nature.
In a world where climate change caused by non-sustainable farming methods and mankind's relentless quest and insatiable appetite to cut down trees and destroy our natural resources, we all have to change the way we think and behave.
This can only be achieved through education and the political will, whereby governments and N.G.O's work together with local communities at grassroots level to restore the imbalance through effective partnerships.
Phil believes, that through his work, he can positively change and influence the way we live in a more self-sufficient and sustainable manner. His definition of an enchanting garden is a place of quiet meditation or communion with nature. Rediscovering ourselves in nature is vital for our own mental health and personal well-being.
“A few weeks ago, I picked up a charming little book by South African Garden Designer and Landscaper Phil Skerritt, 'Paradise Found'. This is not a novel or learned work on the finer points of design or landscaping but rather a story, a story about how he found, developed and shared a home and garden with his family.
As so many of us know it is the potential of a place that so often sets us on a journey and that journey for Phil was one of discovery that took a plot of something approaching two acres, that had little cohesion, to an eventual composition that embraced both indigenous and exotic planting, the creation of different zones and areas, together with the subtle manipulation of levels which led in turn to a haven for wildlife and a paradise for people.
Such landscapes take time to create and mature and rather than working to a preconceived design often evolve with one area and idea leading in both physical and emotive terms to the next. By doing this they eventually culminate in a finely balanced and ultimately rewarding garden.
This story flows, like a stream, from those first glimpses of a house nestled in a landscape that just asked to be loved and transformed, through the sheer hard work of achieving that combination of practicality and mystery, to the ever-fascinating stages of planting of trees, shrubs and perennials that bring a composition alive.
Words, in this instance, only paint a fraction of the picture and Phil's photography shows us just how diverse his garden is in terms of flora and fauna. Southern Africa is rich in these and most have found their way into this most personal of backyards, together with chickens, dogs, children and visitors, all of whom appreciate just what has been achieved here, it is indeed a Paradise Found.
Trust this is helpful Phil and all the very best as ever,
David Stevens FSGD, FCI HORT"
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