CULTIVART Landscape Design




Wincanton Road Karrinyup / @cultivartlandscapedesign / CultivArt Landscape Design

Cultivart Landscape Design is a small boutique studio specialising in the design of compact urban spaces.
Owner, designer and founder of Cultivart, Janine Mendel worked as a cartographer before embarking on her career as a landscape designer 30 years ago. She has won many awards for her gardens and has designed more than 1800 residential landscapes from tiny contemporary courtyards to large formal estates. She is most sought after for her unique, sometimes cutting edge designs for small gardens.
Janine is also the author of two books, the most recent being Urban Sanctuary ‘designing small gardens’. (Hardie Grant 2012). This book is a timely masterclass in small garden design and an exciting showcase for a diverse range of contemporary urban landscapes. Her philosophy that a house should look like ‘it’ has been planted in the garden is inspiringly illustrated in her work. Her gardens have appeared in local, national and international publications and on television.
Janine lives in Perth and works from her home, which is aptly planted in her own lovely garden. She has travelled extensively and has always had an abiding interest in the built environment.

How and when did your studio begin?

I started Cultivart Landscape Design back in 1987 when there were very few stand-alone landscape designers in Perth.

Who is involved?

I am a sole practitioner but I like to collaborate with architects, building designers and interior designers at the earliest stage of a project. I prefer to treat the landscape as an integral part of the overall site design and not just the bits left over when the house is completed. This results in the very best design outcome and is particularly important when dealing with small sites.

Where do you find inspiration for studio/organisation?  Are there any local ones?

In terms of design inspiration, my two faves are Mexican Architect, Luis Barragan and then the polar opposite in design terms, Australian Landscape Designer, Edna Walling. I love Barragan’s use of bold colour, strong lines and sense of proportion. Edna Walling was a
wonderful landscape designer in Australia at the turn of the century. She was not only a fabulous designer but an amazing water colour artist.
 I am inspired by great local architecture – there is just not enough of it!

Perth is seen as an emerging city, particularly for creative industries - do you feel like there are more opportunities in WA right now?

I think Perth is fertile ground for creative industries and I would like to see Landscape Designers and Landscape Architects valued for their unique design contribution as an integral part of the changing face of the urban and suburban landscape. We need to develop strategies that reconnect people with the natural world. Green architecture cannot be truly green unless we include a garden into the mix….and a garden is not a garden without plants!

What do you think makes working in Western Australia unique?

We have in WA, the most amazingly beautiful natural flora which is perfectly adapted to our harsh climate and poor soils. I would like to see West Australians mature in their appreciation for the natural and contrived landscape.

What kind of projects is the studio known for?

Unique Small garden design.