Creative garden design
I set up my garden design business in 2000 after contemplating a career change and realising that I could use my existing skills in a new setting, changing what I do as well as giving me a different lifestyle. I realised that, in my previous career organising and staging conferences and events, I especially loved getting to know my clients to uncover the spirit they wished to convey before designing settings and creating impressions and atmospheres to match. With a genuine interest in people, strong listening skills, a love of colour, texture and form as well as an understanding of how shapes work together, designing gardens was a logical next step. I still draw on my early training – and the skills I developed in my previous career – as many of them are essential elements of good garden design.
I first trained at the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, taking a foundation course in sculpture, painting and photography followed by a two-year photographic diploma. This led naturally to me setting up my own audio visual business, directing cameramen on location and choosing images and music to evoke the right atmosphere for emotive or motivational videos for corporate clients. Gradually, I expanded my role to include conference and event staging, combining audio-visual skills with my love of design, an efficient, organised approach and a keen eye for detail…
After 15 years running this hectic and high-pressure business I wanted a change of pace. I took a diploma course in garden design at Merrist Wood College in Surrey before completing further courses on plants and planting and computer aided design.
I now draw on all my skills to design, manage the construction of and plant a range of gardens to suit my clients’ lifestyles, working mostly in west London.
I am increasingly involved in the work of the Conservation Foundation including their Tools Shed project (collecting garden tools from Wisley and delivering them to prisons for prisoners to refurbish before they are passed on to schools) and their Gardening Against the Odds annual awards.