Understated elegance and simplistic serenity were some of the comments expressed by the expert panel of judges who selected Brandon Jones as the 2012 International Landscape Designer of the Year.

A principal designer and director of design at Glen Gate Company, in Wilton, Conn., Jones’ award-winning project was selected out of sixty-five entries in the Association of Professional Landscape Designers’ (APLD) international juried competition.

Jones accepted his award on September 20 at the 2012 APLD International Design Conference in San Francisco. 

After receiving the award, Jones humbly remarked, “To be considered for this award among all the entries and ultimately to be given this distinction placing me in the company of APLD’s esteemed past recipients is an accomplishment for which I am and will remain forever proud.”

Visions of creating a relaxing retreat for family and friends during hot, humid summer days influenced Jones’ design. He built upon the existing infrastructure while enhancing the plain atmosphere and stark décor.

“When I first saw the turn of the century site I was instantly inspired by the space, which already had a pool and gardening shed, and I attempted to keep that history alive,” Jones explained.

To achieve a summertime oasis, Jones knew integrating shade would be vital, so he let the shade pavilion become the focal point. He strove to create a cozy get-away, saturated in modern simplicity and vintage nostalgia.

Furthering this minimalism, Jones wanted to ensure the plant palette would complement, not overshadow the pavilion. When choosing plants for this design, local climate and zone drove his choices.

“Native plants are more likely to succeed because they’ve already adapted to the region’s climate and soil,” Jones explains. “By pairing a few, choice plants with strong architecture, the space became balanced and eloquent.”

His finished product was a hit with both his client and the APLD judges, and Jones was equally “honored and thrilled” when he found out he won the prestigious title.

While Jones is already looking towards the future, he’s also been reflecting on the past. Over the years, Jones has realized the importance of being affiliated with APLD. His membership has consistently shown clients his commitment to the industry while also augmenting his sense of great garden designs.

Jones, who has been working in landscape design for nearly two decades, muses, “Being honored for your work by such renowned professionals is a thrilling acknowledgment, but it also marks the beginnings of an exciting new stage for me: one that comes with a responsibility to contribute back and help foster new design talent.”