Amy Derby

I am a current student at the London College of Garden Design graduating in July 2018 with a Diploma in Garden Design.

INSTAGRAM | amyderbygardendesign

PHONE | 07713876367





I have always had a strong interest in design and the natural environment. My background is from engineering and architecture working on a variety of projects from large scale master planning to smaller scale single buildings creating interior and exterior spaces that really satisfy the needs of the end users whilst focusing on sustainability, health and wellbeing.

I graduated from the University of Leeds in 2016 with a first-class Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering. Alongside the diploma course I am furthering my practical garden and plant knowledge volunteering at Fulham Palace Gardens.

Through my designs I aim to create beautiful, inspiring and enjoyable gardens and landscapes that have a positive impact on the end users as well as the surrounding natural environment.


Cambridge Cottage | Wedding and Events Venue, RBG Kew


Taken from the brief the key aims for the design were to:
• Create a flexible space that can be used for a variety of events as well as part of the wider RBG Kew Gardens
• Increase the spatial definition, creating areas within the garden for larger receptions as well as quiet areas for retreat and more intimate interaction (whilst including opportunities for event photography throughout)
• Improve the circulation into and throughout the space for all levels of access
• Provide garden/design interest throughout the year


The overall design aims to provide an interesting, flexible garden suitable for a wide variety of private events and public visits whilst improving the link between Cambridge Cottage and the wider Kew Gardens.

The layout, based off the geometry of the cottage, reflects the balance, simplicity and order of the Georgian architectural style of Cambridge Cottage, forming defined spaces creating interest and sense of exploration within the garden.

The planting style throughout is based on an English garden linking back to when Cambridge Cottage was built. Trees, hedging, water and sculpture are used to give structure, provide year-round interest and good visual backdrop for events.

The plant inspired sculptures, aim to not only provide a link between Cambridge Cottage and Kew Gardens but also give added interest and a sense of exploration to the garden both during events and when it is open to the public.

Contemporary Design Studio Courtyard Garden


Create a meaningful, useful and exquisite shared garden for two design studios. The urban courtyard space is 12m x 18m and enclosed on all sides.


The concept of this garden was to create an inspirational and useful space for the design studios that surround it.

Inspired from Barbara Hepworth’s ‘Spiral’ Painting bold curves and colour have been used to create a feeling of energy and dynamism within the garden that will hopefully evoke creativity and inspiration for the designers.

Differing hard and soft landscaping textures and heights have been used to form several different areas, creating a garden that evokes a sense of discover and exploration. It was important for the design studios to have areas within the garden created for collaboration, individual work spaces and exhibition of the designers’ work.

There are three distinct spaces within the garden. At the main focal point of the garden, the centre of the spiral, there is a seating area and water feature. In the west corner there is a secondary smaller, seating area. In the central north area of the garden there is a raised open terrace to be used as the main space for the designers to exhibit their work.

Pots and Pithoi | Commercial Courtyard Design


•Create a unique design space that has a focus on the experience of the visitor
• Create sense of journey/exploration around space – encourages people to spend more time there
• Seasonal interest is key as want to encourage year-round visitors and events
• Display pots in interesting ways that will give visitors inspiration for their own gardens
• Ensure flexibility within the garden to allow for:
• Change of pots on display/ planting within pots to encourage people to return for multiple visits
• Day time and evening group visits and events
• Create a design that showcases pots as well as landscaping skills of The Outdoor Room
• Provide a space that has good circulation throughout for all levels of access


• Overlapping squares/rectangles of varying heights to create plinths/platforms to showcase the pots
• Use positioning of overlapping plinths/walls/planting to take visitors on a journey through the space – don’t feel like they see it all in one go – want to explore – more likely to lead to a purchase
• Planting / walls use as visual barriers to create backdrops to showcase pots
• Showcase pots in variety of ways to give inspiration to visitors – want to really highlight the quality and beautiful design of the pots – more of a sculpture garden feel than a pot showroom
• Create a relaxed and enjoyable space – want people to visit for garden experience not just pots and café – more likely to return for future purchases

Family Garden in the Chilterns

– Highlight the stunning view into the countryside
– Attract nature and wildlife into the garden
– Formal gardens close to the house
– More fluid and naturalistic moving away from the house
– Areas to play and explore for children
– Fruit and vegetable production
– Improve the driveway/parking/entrance area

– Linking the garden into nature and the Chilterns

– Link the garden to the surrounding natural environment
– enhance natural woodland
– meadow and naturalistic planting
– encourage interaction and harmony between family, nature and wildlife

– Link the garden to the house
– Formal close to the house – terrace, lawn, contemporary planting
– Improved entrance area – greater sense of arrival – connection to garden through planting

– Water and planting areas – seamless transition from formal to natural areas

Large Family Garden in the North Downs - Masterplan

– Family – work in London, 3 children (ages 6, 8, 10) – (will have full time gardener)
– Want garden to be their own retreat away from business of London/work
– Love the views and woodland – make more of them
– Love nature want garden to connect with nature; woodland area – trails; productive garden; orchard; water
– Want garden that’s slightly different from your average family garden – unique for them – whilst also being fun for whole family (playfulness)
– Love to entertain – large parties – outdoor dining
– Improve sense of arrival/ entrance area (better scale to house), better parking areas (family and guest areas)
– Give slightly more shelter – north winds can be cold
– Better spatial definition – not all one space

The overall concept of the design is to create a unique, garden which focuses on framing views within the garden and into the surrounding landscape rejuvenating the house and garden, bringing colour, life and playfulness into the space.

Framing views and vistas out into the surrounding landscape
– Borrowed landscape
– Frame using trees/ hedging/ planting
– Layering views – giving hints of views into wider landscape – encourages exploration

Bringing elements of playfulness for whole family
– Social spaces
– Encourage exploration of the garden; suggested spacial enclosure
– Contemporary; colourful
– Sculpture; woodland walkways

Connect house, garden and landscape
– More formal / hard landscaping close to house – becoming more fluid moving out into landscape
– Interconnected spaces within garden – allows flow of movement through space
– Bold design – giving appropriate scale against grand house
– encourage wildlife/nature back into garden
– restore woodland

Create walks and trails around the garden of varying lengths
– Encouraging exploration
– Get to areas of the garden – feels like retreat