Glen Gate's Brandon Jones named top landscape designer under 40

As one of the top landscape designers in New England, Brandon Jones sets out on every project with three clear considerations in mind.

“I offer a sampling of many different styles and looks,” Mr. Jones said last week, “but I am driven by the wants of my client, the environment, and the piece of architecture we are building next to.”

That such thoughts are at the front of his planning process, he said, has helped set him apart from other designers.

“One of my unique talents is to adapt my design styles depending on the environment and style of the home,” he said. “Every aspect of the project is explored and looked at first in the planning process.”

Mr. Jones’s dedication to his art has not gone unnoticed. He was recently named one of New England Home magazine’s top five designers under 40 years old. This award recognizes emerging talent in the fields of architecture, interiors, furniture, home accessories, and landscape design in New England.

The landscape designer for the Glen Gate Company in Wilton first grew interested in the landscape design field watching his grandfather working in large, carefully maintained home gardens.

After a high school career of construction jobs and a stint at a SUNY campus, the designer began focusing on landscape design as a student at Colorado State University.

While his first direction is to address client needs, Mr. Jones said his personal aesthetic reflects an appreciation of good, clean lines and another strong rule.

“I always plant plants in masses rather than placing one here and one there. That way, it has a bigger impact in the landscape, and has a tendency to have a calming effect.”

As an added bonus to those retaining his services, Mr. Jones says a personal background in construction technique is helpful when communicating with contractors.

“My ideas aren’t unnecessary pie-in-the-sky ideas that are filled with details that can’t actually be applied,” he said.

Of his award, Mr. Jones said he experienced a split of emotions after he won.

“I’m thrilled just to be honored,” he said, “But to be honest, it was thrilling for a second after I won, and then a lot of nerves set in. The five winners have to design an oriental rug.”

One of the main sponsors of the award was an oriental rug company, and each winner was required to design a rug within two weeks so the company could make it.

“I just thought, oh my goodness, what am I going to do for my design? They had us do a two-hour tutorial on rug weaving, but I had never done this before. All of us looked like ‘what do we do?’”

Nevertheless, with the help of a few tips from the tutorial, Mr. Jones found inspiration from the birch tree. The birch, he said, is pivotal to landscape design in New England for its ability to weather harsh winters.

The main reason Mr. Jones said he loves working for the Glen Gate company is its ability to handle all aspects of a project, from design to maintenance.

“I love it because it’s a very unique company,” he said. “We are a turn-key company for landscape services. We’re unique in that we design, install, and maintain our properties all with in-house crews. That’s not something you usually see.”

The ability to walk a few doors down in an office and have access to a team of property maintenance specialists, he said, opens the dialogue between the two sides of the company, and allows them to work in a symbiotic way.

“Sometimes in this business there is a conflict between landscape architects and contractors, but there is a synergy here. I can pop over and ask ‘can you look over my shoulder? Can you look at this solution logistically and give me some feedback on it?’”