What I do
I am a garden designer/ planting designer.
I work for landscape architects, private and public clients.
A garden is a living entity, it grows and changes. The initial design is only the starting point from where a loving design can evolve over time, a clear concept that will form a solid foundation for growth and development of a wonderful garden, or a durable planting in public space.
My aim is to create gardens that fit seamlessly into their surroundings. To create gardens that have layering and complexity and thus reflect a naturalness that is felt unconsciously. I search for the balance between contrast and harmony. I always work in response to the location and scope of the project.
Growing up in the province of Zeeland (nl) near the coast, always exploring the dunes behind our garden, playing around the crooked oak trees with small ferns and moss under it, I developed a deep fascination and love for nature. The smell of fresh moss on a sandy soil is still one of the nicest scents to me.
In university, I got a business degree in public administration only to discover within 3 years working that I deeply missed being outside. Then I made the most import decision of my life: going back to school to become a full trained landscaper. This was in 2002.
After finishing my diploma I got to work as a head gardener/ teacher in the schoolgardens of the city of Den Haag. This was really my learning school. We grew a wide variety of annuals, food crops and fruit trees. We had large perennial borders, shrubs and trees to maintain and to renew from time to time. I headed the team and worked with them in the borders. I was responsible for the planning, made the planting designs, experimented with sowing times, different ways of pruning and cutting back, tried varieties and propagated clippings. There were the practicalities of soil treatment, composting, pests and diseases. Since we had different locations with different types of soil and exposure I got to experiment with different conditions for growth. Basically I have 15 years experience in highly specialized gardening within a garden the size of a small estate. I was heading a team of an average of 5 people.
My second role there was teaching: to educate primary school classes about nature, food production and sustainability. My personal objective has always been to try to give them a sense of the wonder that I feel for the beauty and the complexity of the nature that we are part of.
meanwhile I started to use my skills and knowledge to make gardens and planting plans for others. In 2017 I went to London to study Planting Design at the London College of Garden Design. This was an amazing year where I got taught by very talented designers. Since then I have been professionally making gardens and planting designs. Of which the last 2 years for the city of Rotterdam.
One my highlights of last year was my contribution to a show garden at Chelsea. I got to do the layout on site of the planting. Orchestrating and creating the patterns and rhythm of the planting, constantly checking with the other peolpe involved whether things worked or not. It was amazing. 2
It feels like a huge privilege and joy that I can do what I like most: work outside, work with plants, make things and get challenged in it.