Jenny Donnelly

I will graduate from the London College of Garden Design in July 2021. I’m based in Buckinghamshire, and work around London and the Home Counties.

I’m interested in creating gardens that really help people to use and enjoy their outdoor space – for socialising, relaxing, enjoying nature and getting day to day benefit from having their own beautiful place to enjoy.

Prior to starting my diploma, I worked across a number of industries and functions across a 20+ year career, including strategy, consulting, customer insight and diversity. This career history had given me insight into problem solving, and understanding what it takes to satisfy customers! In my latest role focusing on diversity, a large part of the role related to mental health and that led me to be passionate about the wellbeing benefits of gardens.

You can follow me on Instagram @jendgardens

Projects

A garden for exploration, relaxation and contemplation, Ascot

This garden has a modern, contemporary entertaining space close to the house, taking advantage of a south facing aspect and views towards woodland. There is space for a seating area and a dining and BBQ terrace. Planting is hot and colourful – purples, blues and oranges – to give it a vibrant feeling. As you move further out into the garden, there is a deck facing east – a place to enjoy the morning sun, and an evening sunset terrace where you can enjoy a drink, and light a fire to extend your evening long after sunset.

The pathways through the lawn then lead you on a journey through the garden – providing places to explore, and rest along the way. Woodland edge planting is blues, greens and whites to provide a calming ambience. A new kids’ retreat nestles on the edge of the woodland.

The final part of the garden is woodland, which has been left to have a natural feeling – pathways lead to a brook at the bottom of the garden where there is a boardwalk raised above the woodland floor, and a deck in a woodland clearing overlooking the brook. A relaxing place to read a book and have a quiet cup of coffee.

Event venue, Cambridge Cottage, Kew Gardens

The brief from the client was to create an event space that could accommodate up to 120 guests for weddings and other events. They wanted the space to feel private, but also showcase the wider location of Kew Gardens.

I have created a relatively formal, grand space to provide a sense of occasion, which links strongly to the Cambridge Cottage’s architecture. A generous terrace around the main building provides a space for guests to sit outside and enjoy the wedding ceremony, or mingle with other visitors. Pathways radiate out from the semi-circular bay window creating places to explore. The view towards Kew from the main event space window and terrace is accentuated by an avenue of trees, leading towards a gate into Kew Gardens. A new enclosed reception space to the side of the building creates a more private area for guests to enjoy.