Gardenproud Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Hadlow College’

Music drives her passion for Garden Design!

Thursday, December 6th, 2012


Paula Beresford has recently joined the Gardenproud Design Team.

“Paula brings a fresh perspective to our work, I’m particularly keen to harness her talents in developing a more contemporary style for a number of our clients”, comments Gardenproud Director Tim Sykes.

Paula’s career started as a Contracts Manager in Local Government. This gave her an excellent grounding in project management and real insight into the client/supplier relationship.

After a number of years working on Government contracts, she decided it was time to change gear and follow her heart.

She wanted to fuse her love of gardens with her passion for the Arts.

So Paula signed herself up for a BA (Hons) Garden Design at Hadlow College and Greenwich University, which she passed with flying colours!

She has subsequently worked with several landscaping companies designing and project managing garden projects, both domestic and commercial. Her past work has included contemporary garden designs such as these……..

Always creative, Paula earlier dabbled in Interior design and made blinds, soft furnishings and glass Terrariums.

She also plays the piano, having taken lessons between the ages of 5 and 40!

“Whilst having piano lessons, my teacher used to get me to explain what I could see and feel whilst hearing or playing a piece of music, and it was invariably a beautiful landscape, sometimes rolling hills or water, but sometimes it would be an intimate courtyard garden or a small space. I often play music when I design gardens as it gives me inspiration, particularly classical pieces by composers such as Rachmaninov and Beethoven. I feel that there is a real connection between sound and the landscape and love to create this with water or the rustling of grasses in the wind, which give garden spaces another dimension.

My parents have lived in Spain for years and so I have had plenty of experience working in a Mediterranean garden, and understanding the different requirements for the plants. They seem to grow in rock hard soil that we would not even consider trying to plant, and they have flowers virtually all year, it is incredible.”

As part of her degree, Paula studied Historic Garden conservation and the History and Philosophy of Garden Design which gave her a real understanding of how the various styles of gardens have evolved over the centuries.

“Which other Degree course would have given me the opportunity to visit Tate Modern and Versailles, see VanGoghs at the Kroller-Muller museum and wander around Parc Citroen in Paris, to broaden my understanding of all aspects of art and design, the use of colour, materials and scale?”

For further information about Paula’s work and for a free design consultation contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820.

The Italian Connection – George Sykes

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

George

George is a determined chap, he boldly claims his plan is to take over Gardenproud! Which probably means I’d better watch my back and mind my P’s and Q’s if I’m ever to enjoy my retirement!!!!

He’s currently at Hadlow College studying Horticulture, about to embark on his second year.

One day a week he works for Gardenproud learning from the ground up the skills he’ll need to work with our team of gardeners. Every weekend he’s also been working for a local nursery, so he’s also been brushing up on his plant ident and customer skills.

Most recently George along with a number of other students were treated to a trip to Rome to be inspired by the sights and visit a number of the most famous Italian gardens.

Italianate Gardens are a personal passion, in fact I’ve been involved with one particular UK garden that is currently undergoing a renaissance.

This is also a passion of BBC Presenter Monty Don.

Thanks to my sister I’ve just been bought his book “ Great Gardens of Italy” – published by Quadrille as a birthday present. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Anyway turning back to George. He found the trip to Italy fascinating and was particularly struck by the structure and architecture of many gardens.

His favourite gardens were Villa d’Este, Villa Lante, and Sacro Bosco.

“ Villa d’Este is really impressive, of particular interest are the many fountains and pools fed entirely by the gravity water system,” comments George.

So you can see from his response immediately that the guy is into hard landscaping!

This is so true to form. I can remember vividly that George as a 4 year old would as his favourite past-time dig trenches in our garden in Essex and lay land drains!

The gardens at Villa d’Este, based in the town of Tivoli, were created in the 16th Century. Originally conceived by Architect Pirro Ligorio the design on the face of it is comparatively simple with a central pathway leading past a series of fountains, with steep steps leading you through a number of diversions. “Like a kind of horticultural fairground made of stone.”

The money that must have been thrown at these projects was incredible.

Villa d’Este, is a masterpiece, it is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. Its impressive concentration of fountains, nymphs, grottoes, water features, and music. A much-copied model for European gardens in the mannerist and baroque styles.

Outside of gardening George is like most other teenagers, he’s out till the early hours, never seems to have any money, and never answers his phone to his parents!

Favourite  Plants: Dogwood, Bleeding Heart

Gardening Dislikes: The early start