Garden Design Diploma -

Lulu Botely

Garden Designer

What was your background before KLC?
After finishing school, I took a gap year and spent 3 months working in an orphanage in Kenya before travelling around Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Australia. I then completed an Art & Design Foundation Course at Oxford Brookes University and went on to study Graphic Design at Falmouth University. I realised that Graphics was not for me and wanted to pursue something that was more creative, practical and design based.

Why did you decide to study Garden Design?
I have always been very practical and creative, and love being outside. After leaving university I was visiting lots of gardens and found the garden design course at KLC, where my passion for garden design has grown, it has been an exciting adventure to study garden design.

What did you think of the course?
I have loved the intense fast pace of the Garden Design course at KLC. Being based at Hampton Court has been a real bonus and really inspiring; the tutors are exceptionally supportive and knowledgable and the projects that we were set were varied and challenging.

What are your design interests/strengths?
I have particularly enjoyed the design side of the course and being familiar with CAD and InDesign, it has enabled me to produce some creative concepts for the projects. In addition, with my art background, I have been able to illustrate my design ideas. The freedom of being creative as well as the practical element is the perfect balance for me.

What plant best represents you?
It would have to be sort of lavender. The lavender is a dependable plant all year round, but will flourish in the summer. It will transport well and mix well with others, although it is not keen on being frozen under snow!

Which are your favourite gardens?
Growing up as a family we would spend a lot of time down in Cornwall, and I love visiting The Lost Gardens of Heligan. I love the eclectic structure of the garden, with the mature ‘Jungle’ area as well as the walled gardens and pineapple pit.

When I visited Marrakech I was so inspired by Le Jardin Majorelle. The garden is a striking contrast to the chaotic city. I love the garden because it is like a painting, with a series of formal features including a pergola; raised pools and rills filled with locus and water lilies; tiles pathways; and calm courtyards. The intense colour was inspired by Morrocan tiles and Berber burnouses. The blue contrasts with rich red tiles, chrome-yellow pots and terracotta tones.

In Seville, I visited Los Jardines del Real Alcazar which was the most tranquil and serene garden I have ever been in. The garden has various styles and the areas blend unexpectedly well, with clipped hedges, glittering fountains and softly babbling plant species. With extensive use of palms, cypress, myrtles, magnolia jasmines and citrus, which add to the structure of the garden and fill them with perfume.

Who is your favourite designer?
There are so many great designers that I admire. At Chelsea this year I loved the Rich Brother’s garden, as well as their approach to garden design. “A garden doesn’t have to be a garden. It’s a space that can suit your lifestyle. We create spaces not gardens.” A trip to Broughton Grange designed by designer Tom Stuart-Smith in 2000 was amazing and I love his work.

Arne Maynard is also one of my favourite designers. Whenever I have stumbled across his gardens, in a magazine or online, I’ve fallen head over heels. There are so many designers, and I am trying to visit as many gardens as possible!

View all Garden Design Courses