Bubbling young woman, loving Mother, experienced and wise Witch; Lulu embodies a unique mix of the female archetypes.
She is bright, charismatic and charming, a pleasure to be with and a woman with a fascinating story.
As one of the two partners at Urquhart & Hunt Landscape Design she is responsible for the company’s creative direction and boy are they creative…
Their work is astonishing.
Geomancy, sacred garden design, re-wilding, heart level flower and plant arrangement, plant spirits and the creation of healing spaces to reconnect with nature. Fuck yeah!
I’m intrigued, after speaking a few times on the phone, we meet in person.
For Lulu and her business partner Adam work and life have always been the same thing.
‘It’s the motivating factor, our core reason for being’
Her work is a gift, an offering, a service to creating a more beautiful, healed and connected world.
“What we hope to do is to open up the story of the land
and hear it.”
By engaging with land, clients, owners and business partners in unique and intuitive ways Lulu and Adam listen to what is appropriate for the land. Their designs are created taking into account the story of that unique place.
The intention is that sacred, healing experiences are created for those people coming to visit the land upon which Lulu and Adam have worked.
Take the garden at the Hauser and Wirth gallery outside Bruton; the project that her and Adams company worked for 2 years to fulfil as interface designers to Piet Oudolf. Lulu explains that Piet has created a garden that (in September) stands at about heart level. This means that people experience the garden rather than looking at it. The healing is embodied.
. . .
Lulu is the company’s main creative director and plants person. She’s got a strong pallet for good colours, plants, smells and shapes. She’s worked in the field and in plant nurseries for years and also knows how to hold a project through from inception to completion. (Useful person to have around!)
I’m excited to speak with Lulu because it feels like they are doing important, necessary and beautiful work that is immensely healing for land and people. What’s great is that they’re also running a financially successful business and having a really good time. It’s not often that values, finances and lifestyle lineup so smoothly.
One useful trait she shares is her (and Adam’s) ability stand their ground in difficult situations when the budget is cut and the land use changed mid project. If the intended 50m bed is suddenly reduced to a 2m bed Lulu shares that..
“It’s still going to look awesome, it’s still going to speak.”
I love that; tenacity, courage, holding to your values and doing what’s right in the face of fierce opposition.
If a situation arises where her’s and Adam’s values are being compromised then they would rather pull out of the project. Lulu shares that
“We stand for nature, wildlife and trees, and if a proposal comes in that challenges the natural world or the environment, we would rather not accept the work. We are passionately driven for improving the land and environment and peoples connection to the wild, to nature.”
One beautiful example of the care and heart centred work Lulu and Adam engage with is in their relationship to 42 Acres Retreat Centre outside Frome.
The owners gave them a designer’s dream, the wonderful carte blanche; a strong budget and considerable freedom.
What did they do?
A bare-footed ritual to hear the story of the land. Shoes off, toes in the long grass, Lulu, Adam and colleagues threw silver coins (gently!) at the two large Oaks. Part of this ritual was also wetting the Oaks’ lips with liquor. The silver to cut the bonds of time and the liquor to whet their lips and allow them to speak the heart wisdom of the land.
This was followed by walking the land (bare foot) before coming together as a group and journalling, writing, sharing, typing on an old typewriter (I’m a BIG fan of this) and the creation of images, elemental feelings and expressions of the land.
From this intuitive and heart-centred design process a sensitive and appropriate strategy emerged with balance, elemental forces represented and sensitivity to the historical uses of the land.
. . .
This year Lulu will study further in sacred geomancy, earth acupuncture and dowsing. Their business is sure to go from strength to strength and I’m excited to see what this fascinating, powerful, professional and creative woman creates in the coming years!
Original article is available at medium.com/@chrishardycoach