Responsible for the gardens at Sculpture by the Lakes, Monique Gudgeon, Simon’s wife, has been gardening in various capacities since leaving London and the world of public relations back in 1992. Her horticultural career has led her from building gardens at Chelsea Flower Show to a very short stint as a garden designer and finally working at the world-renowned Architectural Plants nursery in Sussex. She now concentrates her energies on the gardens at Sculpture by the Lakes as well as caring for her six dogs and her husband, in that order.
Working closely with Simon, Monique has created a modern garden using inspirations from many different sources both in this country and around the globe. Wherever sculptures have been placed, the planting palette has been kept simple but dramatic so that the work remains the star of the show. Generous planting in every aspect means different areas of the garden are given specific shape and definition and of course there must be evergreens for winter interest.
Since the first gale-lashed, rain-sodden winter, over 3,500 trees and shrubs have been planted as well as a great deal more smaller herbaceous plants, bulbs and grasses. Many are natives and what would have been growing here years before the lakes were dug and the aim is to try and restore the original flora as much as possible. Well advised by Dorset Wildlife Trust, Simon and Monique have allowed nature back in to reclaim her wild bits and set seed.
“It is our greatest wish to leave the place in a better state than we found it both for flora and fauna and to make as small an impact on the environment as possible...
I hope above all that visitors enjoy the garden as much as I enjoy creating and improving it. I have stolen ideas from every garden I have ever visited and probably every garden book I’ve looked at. My thanks to all those unwitting contributors”.