Diploma in Garden Design -

Rachel Jones

Garden Designer

What was your background before KLC?
I studied Law, and went on to work for various law firms in the City doing marketing initially, then specialising in media relations and PR. After the birth of my first child, it was hard to juggle the tight PR deadlines and parenthood, so I became a full time Mum to what is now a brood of 3. 

Why did you decide to study garden design?
My Mum passed her love of gardening and plants on to me, and taught me lots of plant names. I designed a handkerchief sized plot for my first flat, and the passion grew from there. I have always loved to potter about in the garden, and friends told me I had a good eye for design so I helped them with their own.

Since teenage years I have been a bit of frustrated artist, having dropped Art A Level to focus on academics, and I had long regretted that decision. Garden design provided an opportunity to access that side of myself again that had been dormant for too long, and seemed to combine all these interests for me.

What did you think of the course?
It was quite a journey! It was wonderful and exhilarating to be using my mind again after being just a Mum for so long. It was expanding, mind opening, stressful. It was the cause of sleepless nights – sometimes from a busy mind buzzing with new ideas and sometimes from fear of a looming deadline.

The KLC course takes you out of your comfort zone. The learning curve is very steep, and the volume of work is bonkers, but for me it has been worth all the effort. Learning from the array of talent that has taught us over the year is a privilege, and the course is cleverly constructed to build upon each new skill. To be briefed to design a Jekyll/Lutyens garden for our final project was the icing on the cake.

What are your design strengths / weaknesses?
On the downside, I’m a terrible technopeasant, and the computer aided design work has been a particular weakness that I need to keep working on. I found it a hindrance in the design process. On the upside, I am never short of ideas, and designs come very quickly to me.

Which are your favourite gardens? 
My own, as it’s where my family hang out! Capability Brown’s Claremont Gardens, for it’s sweeping vistas, and I love the Edwardian gardens such as Nymans.

Who is your favourite designer? 
I’m definitely in a Jekyll phase at the moment. Order and Chaos!

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