The Open Learning Garden Design Student of the Year 2020 Sponsored by Crocus


KLC is delighted to announce the Open Learning Garden Design Student of 2020 Award that has been kindly sponsored by Crocus.

Crocus is one of the biggest gardening websites in the UK and the only one able to supply a significant range of plants. They pride ourselves on being able to offer you the biggest choice of plants in the UK, offering over 4,000 plant varieties. Their website offers an Inspiration section to give you monthly care tips, ready-made borders & perfect plant combinations, as well as ideas on what style suits your garden.

The Top Student Award sponsored by Crocus is being awarded to Martin Nealon. Martin originally trained as an engineering illustrator but eventually followed his passion for interior design and built a business concentration on high end domestic interiors. After completing the interiors for his clients, Martin was often asked to undertake the garden design and it was then he chose to enrol onto KLC’s Open Learning Garden Diploma so that he could offer his clients a full interiors and garden design package for his business Angel Martin.

When asked what Martin’s experience of the course was and how he managed to fit it in around work/family etc. he answered with the following: “The course was very demanding but the open learning nature of the coursework allowed me to work from home and fit my studies around my existing commitments. The course material was beautifully written and the project work started with the basics allowing me to settle into the new discipline and then it escalated in complexity as the course progressed pushing me to raise my standards with each project submission.

When I started the course, I knew very little about garden design but the learning curve was amazing and by the final project I had a good understanding of planting, garden construction and design methodology. I now have the confidence to offer my clients a fully garden design service.”

We asked Martin to share further thoughts on his experience with KLC and we were honoured he had the following to say, “started the KLC Garden Diploma knowing nothing about garden design but the combination of the course material and the support of the lecturers have allowed me to progress with my studies to a point where I can now offer a high level of garden design to my clients with the confidence that I can achieve the desired results. The garden qualification has offered another dimension to my business which justifies my decision to do the course. More importantly I now have a new skill that I thoroughly enjoy. If you are reading this and are considering doing the Garden Diploma my advice is to “just do it”! You are in safe hands with the KLC, I genuinely cannot speak highly enough of them.”

Below are examples of Martin Nealon’s project work.

We would like to congratulate the runner up to this award, Joanna Baldock. We asked Joanna about her experience on the course and she had the following to share,

"I thoroughly enjoyed this course. The sections flowed well and each section differed to allow more creativity and interest. I found this course completely flexible and so I was able to fit all course work around childcare and work. The course has provided me with the confidence and skills to start garden designing. The course is thorough, well designed and enjoyable. All the staff at KLC were so friendly and helpful and all my emails were answered comprehensively and promptly. Particular thanks to Edith and Eleonora, who were friendly, constructive and encouraging."

See below a selection of Joanna's work:


In third place is Andrew Nichol. Andrew shared that he found most of the course easy to follow, enjoyed the flexibility and that the tutors were always helpful when contacted for assistance.

Please see below a selection of Andrew's project work:


KLC would also like to congratulate all our talented 2019-2020 graduates:

Della Shone

Julia Crawford

Heidi Weeks

Thane MacDonald

Susanna Cznottka

Isobel Drury Codjia

Stefanie Buchheister

Well done to all for all of their hard work and impressive project work. Thank you to our generous sponsor, Crocus.