Following 20+ years working in the financial services industry, Simone made a change of career into horticulture in 2016. Starting the transition as a volunteer, she has steadily progressed to working as a landscape gardener at an award winning 18th Century restored landscape in Surrey. Simone has studied with the Royal Horticultural Society and has obtained her RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Inspiration to pursue a design path was sparked by working with trained horticulturalists and established garden designers. She is studying with LCGD to obtain her diploma in Garden Design and hopes that the world class training will enable her to design and maintain gardens and landscapes for individuals and communities in the future.
After receiving the brief, the initial reaction was to respond with a sympathetic design to reconstruct the garden at Cambridge Cottage, bringing it back to how it would have looked in the 18th century. However, as the building resides in the 21st century and taking into consideration the present day usage of the building, it needed a different approach.
While conducting the site survey, it allowed time explore its history, the interaction with The Royal Botanical Gardens and the surrounding area. By researching this information, it became clear that the relationship between the Cottage, the garden and the world outside its boundaries was pivotal in defining the best design for the site. Thus, the chosen basis of the the design was to capture the symbiotic relationship which exists between the Cottage and the garden.
Symbiosis is defined as an interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, usually to the advantage of both. The design continues to use the strong geometric lines as seen in the architecture of the building. It also mirrors the axis point giving length, direction and induces movement.
The design for the Courtyard Garden was created to emulate the reflectional symmetry of the polished metal surfaces. Wherever the Courtyard is viewed from, the observer is able to appreciate the stability of the formal design. In addition to the physical symmetry, the introduction of two flat curved structures of polished stainless steel continues to further support the concept of reflection. In a small space, not only do the structures create an artistic experience, they also serve to create screenings for sections of the garden, creating privacy without the loss of light or views.