Flower Magazine

MAY-JUN 2019

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

Issue link: http://digital.flowermag.com/i/1104343

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72 | M AY/J U N E 2 0 1 9 FLOWER: TELL US A BIT ABOUT GROWING UP IN PANAMA. WHAT ARE YOUR MEMORIES OF GARDENS AND GREEN SPACES? FERNANDO WONG: Panama is a country that is very lush. There's an area I love close to a national park called Cerro Azul. It's just beautiful to see all the mountains covered with clouds, and then, as the day progresses, they clear out and open up to green and sky as far as you can see. I'm fortunate to own property there now. WHAT LED YOU TO DESIGN GARDENS IN THE UNITED STATES? Actually, my education is in architecture and interior design. I was also a pentathlete, and on a trip to the States, I visited Atlanta and it was so cold. A friend asked if I wanted to come to Miami, and I fell in love with Florida—it felt much more like home. I wanted to stay but needed a job. I went back to Panama to gather the documentation, and a month or so later I was back and working with a landscape architecture firm. At first, I was stub- born, thinking this is not what I went to school for. But I was very good at drafting by hand and began drawing designs for gardens. Eventually I joined another firm, where I learned about conceptual design, construction documents, plant materials, and implementation. Then 2008 came along and I was laid off, like so many others. I decided to open my own business. I didn't have any clients yet, but I was full of enthusiasm! COULD YOU SHARE YOUR GENERAL PHILOSOPHY REGARDING LANDSCAPE DESIGN? I see landscape architecture's role as a supporting actor to the protagonist, which is the house. My goal is to create a setting in which the house will show its best facets, whether it's the approach, the facade, or the curb appeal from the street. When you move into the private areas, the landscape should become an environment in which we can make life happen—to play, relax, and be with family and friends. I always strive for the slow reveal. As you progress through the space, your mind has already been predisposed to happy times. f

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