Twickenham, United Kingdom (PressExposure) March 14, 2011 -- Sally Court and Helen Billetop have been designing gardens for more than 20 years, and between them have collected 14 awards in the UK from the RHS for show gardens at Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows - green-fingered credentials that surely speak for themselves. It makes sense then that after meeting at an event held by The Society of Garden Designers and realising that they both lived and worked in St Margarets close to Richmond, Surrey, they not only became friends and (good natured) rivals, but ultimately, ended up as business partners.
After realising the potential of pooling their expertise, Sally and Helen formed cgd landscape design ltd in 2009, which subsequently lead the way to some very exciting projects.
The pair's belief that sustainability should underpin their designs whenever possible mean they recycle materials, but not to the detriment of good design. Through their growing reputation for working with locally-sourced materials and ability to design with plants across all climate zones, Sally and Helen were commissioned to work on several prestigious projects in conditions ranging from the mild climates of the south of England and Jersey, to the extremes of severe winters and hot summers in Moscow and New York State, and the drought-ridden region of Los Angeles.
Although many of their commissions have seen them heading overseas, both take pleasure in working in their own neighbourhood, relishing the challenge of designing solutions for the diverse gardens and landscapes that only Britain offers.
Nevertheless, the thrill and challenge of being approached and commissioned to supply a garden design for a three-acre plot bounding a lake on the outskirts of Moscow proved to be an unexpected education. Not only in communicating in a different language through a translator, but also working with teams with little or no experience in building gardens.
This project is on-going, and now in its fifth year of installation - Sally and Helen have found that things take a lot longer to achieve over there - but is taking shape and beginning to grow into something quite wonderful. Not only has the garden grown, but long-term friendships have formed with the Russian horticulturalist and hard-working labourers imported from Tashkent and Turkmenistan who all work against impossible situations thrown at them by the weather.
From this initial project, an approach to act as consultants on landscaping for a 144 hectare resort to the north of the city was the next commission, and several landscaping projects are currently being considered.
Closer to home, Sally and Helen's designs can benefit your own garden too - the pair suggest that commissioning a professional landscape designer is an investment that can help clients avoid costly mistakes that turn the dream into a nightmare. Give it a go! You can find out more at http://www.cgd-landscape-design.com.