Sarah Batty

Name: Sarah Batty
Course: Part Time Diploma Garden Design 
Age: 41
Nationality: British

What was your background before KLC?
I was a producer/director in television responsible for creatively defining the mood and personality of a programme. It was all about working collaboratively with others, building trust and communicating ideas. I think there are many similarities with the role of a garden designer.

Why did you decide to study Garden Design?
It encapsulates so many of my interests; design, photography and art coupled with my love of landscapes and nature. It’s important to me to have a career that I am passionate about and I think Garden Design is going to be a very exciting and challenging new career.

What did you think of the course?
The course covers a lot of ground in one year so the pace is intense but it’s amazing how much I have learned and expanded my knowledge. All the lecturers are hugely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about garden design so the atmosphere in the studio is always very energetic.

What is your first gardening memory?
My first memories are of sowing Sweet Pea seeds in my uncle’s greenhouse with an engulfing grape vine overhead and my nature walks in the countryside with my grandfather. I was encouraged to appreciate the landscape from an early age and to celebrate simple pleasures like watching a young seedling slowly unfurl from the earth.

What are your design interests / strengths?
I’m inspired by everything around me – architecture, art, graphic design the countryside and nature. I‘m drawn to simple, organic & geometric forms and my strengths include my eye for detail and my energy, enthusiasm and passion. I have always been very practical and hands on; I enjoy the gratification that comes from conceiving an idea and seeing it through to completion.

Who is your favourite designer?
It’s difficult to pick just one as I’m often drawn to elements of different designer’s work. I find there’s usually a strong link between a garden that ignites all the senses and the passion and enthusiasm of the designer that designed it. I love the work of Tom Stuart Smith – his planting has the ability to offer a rich sense of place with pure, evocative power and Piet Oudolf, who rather than trying to imitate nature, provides an artistic evocation of nature. I’m particularly interested in landscape architecture and excited by projects that impact a wider public. 

Which are your favourite gardens?
I love gardens with atmosphere and a sense of place. I have two favourite places that I visit regularly; both of which were discovered in childhood – The Lost Garden’s of Heligan in Cornwall and The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which offers a rich tapestry of rugged natural landscape combined with sculptural art forms. Since starting the course, I’ve also discovered The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden, designed by Anthony Paul, which is quickly becoming another hidden gem to escape to and find inspiration.

Rachel's Exhibition Space