Josh Samples; Garden Designer
Welcome back to the second installment of our Authentic Man series where we will be interviewing people from around the world who have specializations that push the boundaries on what we know to be art and culture. For this segment we interviewed Josh Samples, nationally acclaimed Garden and Floral Designer. We recently had a sit down with Josh to find out more about his inspirations and how he manages to stay true to his lifestyle.
Phil (Lockhart's): Hey Josh, first I want to start by saying thanks for taking the time to talk with us here at Lockhart’s Pomade today, why don’t you first describe what it is you do and how you came about doing it.
Josh: I guess it all started in 1982, when my grandfather bought the local garden center starting my family on this path. They had me potting tomato plants by the time I was four years old; I spent every day after school working in the yard and garden all the way up through high school. My father built Oak Hill Gardens after I graduated high school starting us into the pool design and construction business. After high school I went to the University of Kentucky for Horticulture; at which point I started designing vertical gardens. The work I did with vertical gardens gained me the recognition of Woolly Pocket out in Los Angeles; so he hired me and moved me out there and flew me all over the country to design vertical gardens. It was during this time that I met a renowned rooftop gardener from New York who asked me to be his product manager and promote his new fertilizer line. After I did that for a while I moved back to London, Kentucky and created Oak Hill Gardens event space; hosting wedding and special events. And from there I have moved to Minneapolis where I stay busy designing vertical and rooftop gardens for anyone from @bellecourmn French Restaurant to @hewinghotel 5 Star Hotel. I’ve also done anything from floral design, interior plant design, or terrariums, etc.. over the course of my whole career.
Phil (Lockhart's): That’s really awesome man, when you have the chance to travel you get to experience life in many different settings of culture, what is the craziest or strangest experience you’ve had as a result of what you do?
Josh: I feel like every project is crazy haha. I think the most awesome part is having the ability to travel and do what I love. When I first started I had to stay in terrible hotels and eat when/what I could. Now it’s the total opposite; I travel freely and go to awesome shows and experience things I would have never imagined possible when I was younger.
Phil (Lockhart's): What is it that you enjoy the most about your lifestyle?
Josh: The freedom to be able to create and work on projects that are stimulating and progressive. I enjoy having total creative freedom from start to finish and the ability to travel and work, and the chance to be out in nature. I love to create that moment where people are amazed and wowed by what I’ve designed for them.
Phil (Lockhart's): What do you consider most when laying out a project?
Josh: How it will look year round. I try to design for winter first on landscaping projects.
Phil (Lockhart's): Why is it so important to you to be in nature?
Josh: It’s all I’ve ever known, I grew up surrounded by this environment. It helped mold me into a person that cares about the environment and to make a positive impact. It also allows me to create a moment, at any time.
Phil (Lockhart's): How do you manage to stay current with new trends and manage to push the boundaries on what we know to be beautiful with floral design at the same time?
Josh: I love fashion, so I’m always watching fashion shows, I’m also just very inspired by nature in general. I follow other floral designers and attend trade shows. But really I feel like most of my creative influence comes from really old gardens or fashion designers. I also like to hang around the client I’m designing for to feel them out and see what inspires them.
Phil (Lockhart's): How could someone get in touch with you if they wanted to hire you or follow your work?
That concludes our interview with Josh. When asking what makes an authentic man, you always have to ask what makes the man. Whether you’re a barber, floral designer, or professional athlete passion and determination define your success creating authenticity.