So you want to work in….Garden Design

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The Guardian – Katie Shimmon – 7 March 2009

Maren Hallenga, 23, garden designer, Hallenga & Bugg landscape design (Now Hugo Bugg Landscapes):

I did a BA (Hons) garden design, arts and environment at University College Falmouth. Because it’s a design-based institution, you’re surrounded by graphic designers, spatial designers and contemporary craftspeople, so it is a very creative environment. The lecturers are hugely enthusiastic and passionate about garden design and that, along with the fact the course has a creative edge, really helped.

Straight after I graduated last year, myself and Hugo [Bugg], who I was at university with, were employed by the local council to work on a £22m lottery-funded scheme in Cornwall called the Heartlands project, which will transform the county’s most derelict urban area into a cultural landscape.

It’s going to be great for Cornwall, a huge visitor attraction. Hallenga and Bugg Landscape Design came about because Hugo and I had been friends throughout the course and had entered a Future Gardens competition together.

When we got it, we thought that we might as well carry on working together. I’m really excited about the business.

My advice to students is to try to think outside the box. What the lecturers liked about mine and Hugo’s work was that we started looking into different software you can use, for example. Read around the subject and get as knowledgeable as you can about it. Talk to people and learn.