When it struck me in my mid-twenties that I knew what
financial quarter we were in but I couldn't tell you
what season it was or what the weather was like outside,
I realised something had to change...
My journey spread over three continents that took me
from IT sales to professional garden design.
I plan a garden for the long term, not just for quarters.…
As a business administrator and IT salesperson, I learned a lot:
to look at the detail, to be persistent, to analyse, to make decisions. These qualities help me today to provide
well thought-out solutions for my clients' gardens.
Moving from the two dimensions of a laptop screen
to working in a three-dimensional world.
In my years of studying garden design in London and in my training in Tokyo, Kyoto and San Francisco, I learned to get a feel for a garden and its plants rather than just relying on information I’d read.
I found it incredibly enriching to experience a garden not only with my head but with my whole body. I started to observe the different elements using all my senses such as touching the soil and smelling the leaves. I soon developed an intuition for plants and knowing where they would thrive.
You learn design by immersing yourself in good design...
When I went to Japan, Japanese gardens hardly interested me.
However, I wanted to be able to grasp the design, the balance between emptiness and fullness and to be able to use these design principles in 'my' gardens.
After a year's internship in a rural gardening and landscaping company near Tokyo and countless trips to gardens and museums with my host family, I too was completely enthralled by Japanese gardens.
So much so that in 2012 I co-founded the Real Japanese Gardens platform with Tokyo garden designer Keizo Hayano. I visited, photographed and wrote about over 60 Japanese gardens and temples. What a dream job!
Inviting life - and discovering a new world
I am convinced: we are more than just ourselves. Our home can be shared with many other creatures. It can be a place that birds, butterflies, lizards, bees and beetles love to visit.
And so, in turn, the garden begins to enrich our lives.
Between 2010 and 2015 I learned the ropes of good gardening, working as an exchange intern, volunteer and employed gardener in Tokyo, Kyoto and San Francisco.
Exchange intern for one year in a gardening company.
Real Japanese Gardens, Tokyo
Employed by garden designer Keizo Hayano and
co-founded the Real Japanese Garden platform.
Apprentice in two of Kyoto’s oldest temples.
Blog: 90 days in Kyoto.
Sacred Space Gardens, San Francisco
The best garden team in the city,
looking after the most beautiful gardens.
Alcatraz, San Francisco
As a volunteer, I cared for the survivor plants thriving in the tough conditions on the legendary island in the SF Bay.
Gärtner von Eden, Potsdam
Working as an intern I got introduced to the joys and challenges of the nutrient-deficient, sandy soil of Berlin and Brandenburg.
English Gardening School in London, UK
2008-9 Laying the foundations: Garden design course in Chelsea Physic Garden in London
2008-9 Intern for the gardening magazine “Gartenflora”. Lots of reading, researching and writing.
Studium International Business Administration & IT studies
Duale Hochschule Mannheim
3 years Sales at IBM Germany
in Düsseldorf and Berlin
As a garden designer I help high-profile clients transforming their roof-top terraces and gardens into pollinator-friendly spaces.
What lights me up: Listening to bumblebees buzzing as I'm planting a new terrace in the middle of busy Berlin. Seeing birds from our kitchen table when they visit our terrace in winter. Hearing a paper wasp rasping the outer layer of one of last year's flower stalks - just meters away from my home office desk.
What I believe in: You can make your life richer when you begin to invite life into the space you're entrusted with - even if it is as tiny as a window box. As you get in touch with nature - right where you are and in your everyday life - you life will get so much bigger.
What I wish for you: I would love for you to experience the calm and joy that comes with being in your very own oasis.
You want your terrace to be a place of joy and abundance - for you, your family and wildlife in the city.
Download this guide to:
➽ know your next steps
➽ feel confident about selecting your new favorite plants
➽ start planting this weekend
➽ do less garden maintenance and enjoy your terrace more
➽ explore how to support more native wild bees in your area