Imagine discovering an oasis; an escape from the bustle of life; a place that draws you in and inspires you to pause and take in the natural world that surrounds you. As a student of Landscape Architecture, that’s my vision.

We spend our days at breakneck speed, becoming increasingly disconnected from the world around us and each other. We’re losing touch with nature, with our health and with the things that once brought us joy.

While studying Landscape Architecture I’ve learnt that the natural world around us is what forms us. From the cities we build, to the technology we develop, it’s the natural world that inspires what we create and shapes who we become.

I believe we need to stay connected to this world that gives us so much inspiration, by creating spaces that help us cultivate a healthy mind.

In 2017, during my first year of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, I competed in the New Zealand Flower and Garden show, winning a bronze for my efforts. My design represented an apartment balcony garden and was based on my vision of creating peaceful outdoor spaces within a more condensed living space.

I learnt a lot through the process of preparing for the show; how to be practical with the management of my time, money and with people. Though construction of the garden was easy, exposing my work to the public was daunting and cold calling people for sponsorship also pushed me outside of my comfort zone.

Standing outside over-looking the finished product, and seeing how the public reacted, has inspired me to keep scaling up and put everything into this profession. I will also be competing in the show this year within the large display garden category, and would encourage anyone to take on these kinds of opportunities. Producing a physical display of your work helps to build real-world experience and teaches you how to manage relationships, time and money – skills that we don’t necessarily learn while designing.