Name: Viv Seccombe
Course: Part Time Diploma Garden Design
What was your background before KLC?
I’ve been in sales for many years and prior to KLC I was head of sales for a global education business. I’ve always enjoyed building and running successful teams and communicating with diverse businesses and people.
Why did you decide to study Garden Design?
I’ve pottered around in gardens and allotments since I was little, helping my dad, who was a huge influence. That led to a deeper appreciation of plants and how outdoor spaces make you feel. After completing RHS qualifications alongside my day job, I decided to make the leap and develop my skills in garden design.
What plant best represents you?
A sunflower. It may sound an obvious choice, but they make their complex seed structure appear simple and joyful. As everyone knows, I’m a positive person and the sunflower stands tall and shines a light on everything around it. I admire that in a plant, and people!
Who is your favourite designer?
So many to choose from but right now I’m loving Tom Stuart Smith’s bold use of colour.
What did you think of the course?
I felt very lucky to be learning in the majestic surroundings of Hampton Court Palace, which I found endlessly inspiring, even when the going got tough. It’s been a really collaborative experience, I’ve learned a great deal from the tutors who set high standards, but also from my fellow students, which drove me harder and has been a huge and unexpected benefit. Working alongside like-minded people from diverse backgrounds has also been a real joy.
What are your design interests/strengths?
I like to look at things and understand what I like about it, what I want to change and why. I’m drawn to simplicity in design, not over complicating things and knowing when to stop. I’m also able to build a story around my designs that resonates.
Which are your favourite gardens?
Broughton Grange for its perennial planting and its superb use of borrowed landscapes. The garden has an openness and a real flow. Gravetye Manor - I love it all, but in particular it’s blowsy borders and its Victorian walled kitchen garden.
Images chosen by Viv