Laura at Petersham Nurseries
I was born in Rome, by chance, and soon came to consider the world as my oyster: boarding schools were in Italy and Switzerland, holidays in France and England. I grew up surrounded by art, history and beauty from an early age. Grammar School was in an 18th-century palazzo in the heart of Milano, with ceilings frescoed by the Tiepolos and surrounded by gardens. Pursuing my many interests, I took my Doctorate in Humanities and Foreign Languages and Literatures at Universita' Bocconi.
Ever since I have memories, I have loved plants and been aware of their presence or absence in a place. In the 80's, things in Italy were still behind in the field of garden design, but I joined the Royal Horticultural Society, and visited England as often as I could. Here, I met John Brookes and signed up for his design courses. I have not stopped since. I decided to enrol at the University of Central England to study Landscape Architecture, as nothing of the sort was available in Italy. I commuted every week between Milano and London to attend the course, and still keep close to my family. After graduation, I took my Professional Practice exams to become a fully qualified landscape architect, and finally settled in England. I have studied and worked with significant designers, John Brookes, Peter Youngman, Preben Jacobsen, these two winners of the Gold Medal of the Landscape Institute.
As a Landscape Architect, I have worked on large projects, hospitals, leisure centres, retail, industrial and housing developments. I now specialise in the design of urban and rural gardens and large estates. I am a chartered member of the Landscape Institute; an official lecturer for NADFAS, The National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies; and held a position at Kingston University's School of Architecture and Landscape as Senior Lecturer and Course Director in Garden Design.
I run my own landscape practice, lecture internationally, and write on landscape issues. My articles have been published in Abitare , Gardenia, Spaziocasa, The Garden History Society Journal (Special issue 2000), and Garden Design (2004). I can speak Italian, French, colloquial Spanish and German. Home and office are in Kew, West London, at a stone's throw from the Royal Botanic Gardens.