Interview with Associate Director, Ellie Grammelsberger

Clients and colleagues alike know Ellie Grammelsberger as a dedicated and accomplished landscape architect and an integral leader at Nathan Burkett Landscape Architecture. Having proven herself in delivering many innovative gardens and developing a good rapport with NBLA clientele, Ellie was promoted to Associate Director in 2021. Ellie now leads a studio team of five comprising landscape architects, 3D visualisers and a project coordinator.

We asked Ellie to share some insights on her career with NBLA.

How did you come to work for NBLA?

It was early 2015, at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, that I first met Nathan and his team. I was in awe of their design Equilibrium, which had won both the Mark Bence Construction Award and the Show Garden Gold Award. It was at this point that I knew I wanted to be a part of Nathan Burkett Landscape Architecture.

At the end of that year, I emerged from 5 years at RMIT University with a Master of Landscape Architecture. Much to my delight, I joined NBLA shortly after in 2016. Now 7 years on, I am grateful to not only be a part of this talented team, but also to have the opportunity to influence its future growth.

What do you love most about being a landscape architect?

It’s very difficult to narrow down to just one favourite thing. I love that no day is the same and that every brief and design is tailored specifically to the client. I enjoy working on a variety of projects, from small terraces right up to larger-scale gardens, but I especially love a good challenge. It’s the small to medium-scaled projects that present unique challenges as every inch counts. These projects require me to be highly attentive, clever, and innovative when designing. Specific attention is needed to ensure both form and function are considered, and neither is compromised.

Bringing a design to life and the excitement and joy that we create for our clients is one of the most rewarding things about being a landscape architect.

Have you been surprised by any trends that have emerged in landscape architecture?

A number of trends have emerged over my time in the industry; however, they haven’t necessarily surprised me. We certainly see plants come in and out of fashion.

Indoor plants are still very much on trend, with many people using them to enhance their interior spaces. Outdoors, our prickly friends, also known as cacti, have made a resurgence with the ‘Palm Springs’ minimalist style trending more recently. Another big movement over the last few years is the ‘Perennial Garden’. A trend which has been heavily influenced by the incredible international garden designers, Piet Oudolf & Christopher Lloyd from Great Dixter.

What should clients consider before engaging a landscape architect?

I would say it’s good to be clear on the major elements that you would like included in the design. For example, a swimming pool, built-in seating or a generous lawn area. You will need a rough idea of your budget, and if there is a specific timeframe to be met, this may narrow the field from the beginning. It’s also helpful to have an idea for the aesthetic by looking at the completed work of landscape architects and finding one that aligns with your style.

Where do you see NBLA heading in the future?

At NBLA we don’t simply follow the trends, we like to push creative boundaries and forge our own timeless style to delight and exceed our client’s expectations. The NBLA brand and team are constantly growing, adapting and evolving. I have no doubt that we will continue to innovate and be driven to design timeless, considered gardens for many years to come.