get to know us - Meet SOME of the team
JAMES HARTLEY - DIRECTOR
With over 25 years of experience building gardens in the south of France, and a degree in Horticulture, James' interests are somewhat diverse: he has a fascination for all things artistic, musical, architectural, technical, mechanical, electrical and construction related.
James is a fan of science fiction, loves cycling in the mountains and has a penchant for playing the piano late at night. He is perpetually full of new ideas and usually has a well-founded opinion on most things.
A generally optimistic and happy individual, he's also driven and always ready to take on a new challenge – so he has to thank William for making sure only the good ideas get let loose.
WILLIAM HARTLEY - DIRECTOR
Bestowed with a finely tuned sense of the aesthetic, William qualified with an Honours degree in Landscape Design and Plant Science at Sheffield University. William uniquely combines old school artistic skill with pencil and Pantone, while fully embracing the possibilities created by the latest advances in computer power and professional design software. The best of both worlds.
Obsessed with off-piste skiing and beautiful design, his deep powder turns and freehand sketches are both things of beauty.
William uses his words carefully, is often wildly amusing and his keen sense of aesthetic is underpinned by a sensitive need for harmony and well-being in all those around him – an intangible but vital ingredient that has played a large part in making the company what it is today.
OLIVIER PRUNARET - LANDSCAPE DESIGNER
As skilled as he is as a landscape designer, he also has a unique skillset and experience with several leading companies involved in irrigation design and installation and garden design. A friendly and easy-going persona hides a surprising depth of knowledge in many other areas from architecture and design to botany and sustainable development.
Truth be told, he has a well-informed opinion on almost any other subject you might like to discuss, and outside of work he is also passionate about gardening, cooking, reading and house renovation. The fact that he found time on top of this to have a family is probably symptomatic of his formidable organisational skills, epitomised by a need to have a notepad in close proximity at all times. Confident, yet unassuming, kind and polite, Olivier has rapidly become an integral member of the team, and is the only person in the office to have his own coffee machine, much to the envy of Louise.
SEBASTIEN PERRET - LANDSCAPE DESIGNER
Trained at HES-SO Lullier in Geneva, Sébastien honed his skills as design office manager in a firm of Landscape architects in Marrakech, interspersed with freelance work preparing plans and visualisations for an interior design firm in Grenoble. He joined the company in 2006, bringing his remarkable CAD skills to complement the design team and lifted the level of design presentation to a new level. A keen adopter of new technologies, his computer uses more power than the whole of the rest of the office when labouring on his three-dimensional high resolution graphic rendering, as it has a graphics card with more power than the cars of some of the other members of staff.
Sébastien counterbalances his hours in front of a computer with a life of extreme sports, including descending from his hilltop village on a longboard and paragliding. A knife is always kept to hand in case we have to cut him out of a tree so he can get to work on a Monday morning – thankfully to date it hasn’t been required.
EDOUARD FABRE - ILLUSTRAToR
Edouard came to the south of France in 2015 to join our company, and with his passion for illustrating is a true asset to our design team. He is excellent at producing beautiful and really accurate artist's impressions and stunning mood boards.
A passionate sportsman: he comes to work on his racing bike, goes jogging or climbing at lunch time, cycles back home after work and spends every weekend hiking in the mountains.
JEANNINE VAN IPEREN - OFFICE MANAGER
Born in Holland, Jeannine lived in Belgium before deciding France was the place for her. Diligent and intelligent, she trained in marketing and well organised. Although too modest to mention it, she harbours an impressive plant knowledge.
An avid reader, cyclist, art student and animal lover, she is a calm and stable influence in our back office operations. Among her lesser known distinguishing traits are a quite remarkable collection of handbags and an irrational fear of heights, spiders and anything remotely dangerous. Reliable and hard working, she can be trusted to give a useful opinion on everything from a letter of correspondence to a landscape design, and is a highly valued asset in our office team.
LOUISE BLAND - ADMINISTRATION
Also born in Holland, the very cosmopolitan Louise has lived and worked in Amsterdam, Milan, London and Paris before finally settling here in the south with her husband. She’s the friendly face that will greet you and help you with whatever you might need, and isn’t afraid to help out with whatever needs doing.
Diligent and hardworking, she speaks five languages fluently, one of which is Italian – which comes in particularly useful when Italian truck drivers get lost. She is also very forthright (a common Dutch characteristic!), which, although a little startling to those of us with the handicap of “English reserve”, is surprising refreshing. Among her other remarkable features is a seemingly clairvoyant ability to know when anyone in the office want a coffee. Dependable and genuine, we’re very pleased to have her he with us.
ADRIEN MARGUIN - Client advisor
Adrien is ingénieur paysagiste and studied both in France and in Canada before joining us in 2015. He's a calm and gentle person, and he is loved by the Garden Centre clients for his plant knowledge, competence and patience.
When not at work Adrien is busy renovating his new house - no doubt the garden will be amazing!
DELPHINE O'LANYER - ACCOUNTS
Trained in business management here in France, Delphine completed her specialisation by getting an MBA in Corporate finance in the States. Born in Versailles however, she was perhaps always destined to apply her formidable numeric skills in a Horticultural application.
Noticing everything, well organised, highly efficient, intolerant of time wastage and remarkably persistent in the face of bureaucracy (of which there is sadly no lack) - every piece of paperwork that passes through the office is scrutinised and controlled before being validated.
An enthusiastic skier and mother of two, she is also simultaneously charming and polite, and while the rest of the company is focused on looking after our clients, it’s a great comfort to know that she’s in our corner looking after us. We therefore consider ourselves very lucky to have someone as competent as her as a part of the team.
SLAVA Nikolaeva - Procurement
Slava is Bulgarian and is responsible for the purchasing, pricing and stock management of all the plants, materials and products we use on sites, in the office and in the Garden Centre. A massive job, and we're very lucky having found this nice and meticulous colleague for our team.
A nature lover, Slava spends a lot of time with her daughter in the woods on the way to the mountains.