May 2015

The aptly named Raymond Jungles is a tour de force in the botanical world, creating tropical gardens that are as exotic as they are organic, that strike you as much with their natural beauty as their creator's imagination.

Based in Miami, we’ve worked together on projects such as Soho Beach House Miami and the recently completed Thompson Miami Beach and so, with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show just around the corner, we thought who better to help us see the wood through the tree’s in the world of landscape architecture than Jungles himself.

You were born in Nebraska…how did you decide to become a landscape designer who specialises in tropical gardens?

Mountain man, forest ranger, veterinarian, landscape architect… that was the progression. I’ve lived in Florida for 31 years thus the tropical influence.

When you were studying you were mentored by Roberto Burle Marx. How did he influence you?

In many ways.When I first saw his work, the freedom, the boldness, the clarity of it changed my life. His bold sense of colour and form and use of tropical flora.He is still a daily influence.

Where do you go to find inspiration?

Quiet, wild places. I love hiking.

How do you approach a garden when you first start on its design?

With no pre-conceived notions or formulas.

Where do you find the plants and tree’s you use in your designs?

Everywhere. Many sources. Florida is bountiful.

Your gardens seem very organic and lush. How do you strike the balance between a garden that feels natural yet is designed? Are there any rules as such?

The order is subtle but strong. Good bones, scale volume, texture, contrast.

You recently worked with us on Thompson Miami Beach and also have in the past on Soho Beach House Miami. What’s next for you?

We’re very excited about the upcoming completion of the Grove at Grand Bay project with BIG architects. Also coming to completion soon will be the various components of the Faena District in Miami Beach (just down the road from the Thompson) – it has been a huge collaboration of various designers and uses.Check out our web site, we stay pretty current. We’ll also be continually updating our Facebook page so followers can stay up to date with construction progress and new projects.

All photography (c) Stephen Brooke, Sanders