Diploma in Garden Design -

Maki Gilbert

Garden Designer

What was your background before KLC? 
I was a translator (Japanese to/from English) and editor for mainly corporate PR publications for Yamaha Motor, Imperial Hotel and a recruiting company in Japan.

Why did you decide to study Garden Design?
I have always been interested in design. When I visited KLC’s Interior Design open day and initially discovered their Garden Design course, I felt “This is it!” as if struck by lightening. The perfect match for my interest in design and love of green.

What did you think of the course?
It required so much work and energy but all the hard work became worthwhile when I look back. I learned not only skills, but also about myself, how I approach ….life! Every single aspect of the entire course was cleverly planned and extremely well-organised to help the student obtain all necessary techniques to become a garden designer.

What are your design interests/strengths?
I always identify and base my ideas on a clear concept, and enjoy expressing it through my design. I also have this serene and orderly fashion in my design and drawings which might have come from my Japanese upbringing

Which are your favourite gardens?
The Great Dixter: I am fascinated with the Long border, which I knew was great, but it still made me feel “wow” when I first visited. It has got this energy and the silent yet powerful existence of Christopher Lloyd. I love the tilted house Lutyen designed as well! Gravetye: I love William Robinson’s natural gardens, particularly the border and meadow going down to the lake. Also, their kitchen garden is amazing. I had a great time during my work experience this summer with the lovely head gardener, Tom.

Who is your favourite designer?
Kazuyuki Ishihara. He is one of my favourite designers because his concepts of the true value of Japanese gardens are very close to mine. They are based on nostalgic scenery we have lost over the past a half decade. It is also encouraging for me that he has proved that time is no obstacle to challenge your dream by winning gold medals for Chelsea artisan category, even though his career as a  Garden Designer started quite late.

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