Following 20+ years working in the financial services industry, Simone decided to take a career break and add to her skill set by training within the horticultural sector. Starting as a landscape gardener at an award winning Grade I listed, 18th Century restored landscape in Surrey, Simone studied with the Royal Horticultural Society at Capel Manor and obtained her RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Simone took her interest in horticulture to a new level in 2019 and obtained her diploma in Garden Design at the London College of Garden Design. In July 2019, Simone set up her own garden design studio, Francois Leaf Gardens, and is now enjoying designing gardens for private clients and community projects.
The following design was for a mid-century modern property in the beautiful Chesham Bois area. The clients are professionals who’s brief was for a garden to entertain and relax. Being on a slope, the design called for retaining walls to be constructed which increased the use of the space and expanded on the planting areas. Being bee lovers, the design also included ‘bee posts’ to provide solitary bees with a nesting site.
The Chilterns was a design brief for a 2 acre family garden. The key element for the design was to retain and expand upon the view of the countryside at the end of the garden, replacing a tennis court and taking into consideration building plans for a new extension to the house. The design brief required space for the family to relax, entertain, grow and explore. The design brought together woodland for naturalistic play, a meadow area which merges into the surrounding landscape, a kitchen garden to allow the client to grow their own produce and an entertainment space for both family and corporate events.
The design was for a commercial site based in the city of Bristol.
The company specialised in providing post production services for the broadcast sector and the focus was to create a unique space for the staff and clients to take time out of the creative suites and to allow space for entertainment and events.
The concept of the design was to create a landscape which complemented the Georgian architecture. The key design influence was Mercury which which has been interpreted by the installation of a series of water installations.