By Ben Simmons

What an exciting year 2011 turned out to be for cgd landscape design: after a quiet start, projects began to take shape with designs and builds being installed. The momentum was gathering speed.

As if there was not enough work to get to grips with, cgd landscape design were short listed to enter a landscaping project in Germany. The brief was to create “An English Garden” within the parklands of “The Gardens of the World” in Marzahn on the outskirts of Berlin.

This was the first time that cgd had been invited to take part in major competition of this nature and it turned out to be a very exacting and worthwhile project albeit that cgd landscape design did not win. The task was very different to creating a show garden, which the company had done many times over the years. For a start cgd landscape design had been approached by the organisers and were paid for the submission! It turned out to be time consuming and disciplined, each of the principals of the company having a set role in the preparation of the various documents.

Over the weeks of preparation and working late into the night and at weekends, existing landscape projects still had to be overseen and new work prepared, clients could not be ignored and put on the back burner. The date of submission arrived and the plans couriered “anonymously” and then it was in the judging panels’ hands. No more could be done; a bit of an anti-climax that not even a glass of wine could fill. The submission was a very exciting concept using a disused railway station as the focus with a nature walk along the old railway cutting, naturalised areas with meadow flowers, orchards and a walled rose garden. All very “English”. Waiting for the results weeks later seemed endless.

Working under this incredible pressure reinforced a positive creative partnership between Helen Billetop and Sally Court, the company’s directors and senior landscape designers. The buzz created is almost addictive and immediately the opportunity to submit a scheme for the new Korean Suncheon garden show arrived, albeit, very late in the day. Less than 2 weeks to draw up a scheme. Nevertheless, a plan for a regeneration garden was prepared and emailed to the organisers. The plan was not a winner but it certainly was a fabulous concept for an Urban site using recycled concrete, iron, stone setts and a natural dipping pond to encourage wild life.

What’s next? The company has been approached by a Chinese company developing a resort on the Yellow River and Suncheon have approached cgd to submit another plan this time for a small garden in the marquee. As the company is extremely busy working on several garden installations both at home and abroad in Russia and Morocco, Helen and Sally may just have to say “no” to these two new proposals!