Jinny Blom Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Jinny Blom Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Jinny Blom Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.jinnyblom.com

19JINNY BLOM |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Jinny Blom after her successful
exhibition in the Jardin de
Tuileries, Paris
A rose garden made as part of a larger
garden for Lady Getty in the Chilterns
and harnessing the limitless views
Jinny Blom set up her design studio in 2000 and has since
been gathering a range of commissions across the globe.
As a self-taught designer, she does not confine her creative
output simply to the built landscape, instead tailoring her skills to
suit varied commissions and ensuring each is given a unique and
specific response. Jinny tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
In 1996 I changed career. I had been a psychologist working as co-director at a
charitable trust for men with psychosis and PTSD. Working with these troubled
people, I realised the positive power the landscape has on us and I decided to
devote myself to landscaping. It was a major change of profession and I had to
work extremely hard to gain traction in the sector.
Building a business
For four years I worked as a part-time apprentice for an established designer,
while building my own clientele. During this time, we completed a major part of
the landscaping to The Millennium Dome and after the untimely death of Princess
Diana, we redesigned Althorp to allow access for visitors.
Following the success of these projects and a steady increase in my own work,
Iset up my studio in 2000 with one freelance assistant. My background in senior
management allowed me to progress the business quickly. The vast majority of our
clients are business people with a speed of decision-making altogether different
from the grinding gears of the voluntary and public sector. Early clients were
extremely generous about the gaps in my knowledge. Openness and honesty
during the formative stages allowed lasting working relationships to build and
FACTS ABOUT
JINNY BLOM
»Founder: Jinny Blom
»Established in 2000
»Based in Clerkenwell, London
»No. of employees: 10
»75 per cent of Jinny’s work is
in the UK, and the remaining
25 per cent elsewhere in the
world
»Scrupulously protects client
identity
»Known for intelligent
responses to complex projects
»Known for beautiful and
pragmatic landscape design
Jinny Blom
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | JINNY BLOM
we still work with a number of our
initial clients to this day. I was offered
a lot of guidance and one piece of
advice has always stuck with me: “Do
one thing properly and you won’t
confusepeople.”
I have never needed to advertise as
work has always come via word of
mouth. Excellent working relationships
with clients, contractors and the press
have been key to our success, and
our staff are encouraged to pick up
the phone and speak to people rather
than hide in emails. The strength of a
working relationship allows projects to
weather many trials and tribulations.
Equally, with working across the globe
it is vital to form bonds strong enough
to endure distance and infrequent
visits in order to achieve the quality of
work for which we are known.
Knowing when you can’t do
something to the quality that you
hope to deliver is also important for
a young business. From early on we
have outsourced the management
accounting, leaving us free to focus
on where our strengths lie. Our clients
appreciate the transparency and
consistency that this method allows.
A truly unique organisation
Since 2000 the business has grown
steadily in both reputation and size.
We now employ ten full-time staff in
the studio and utilise extra help via
specialists as required. At any given
time, we have between 30 and 40 jobs
of differing size and scope.
We have the most phenomenal
projects and it would be fabulous to
name them, but this would contradict
our innate client protection. Many of
our assignments cover many acres,
often with listed buildings, and require
intelligent thinking as even the most
resourced client doesn’t want a vast
staff team running their estate. We
specialise in creating beautiful, pragmatic
landscape masterplans that incorporate
the latest green technologies and
ecologically solidthinking.
Our pleasant studio in Clerkenwell,
London, is in the heart of the
architecture and design hub and close
to the City where most of our clients
work. This has been our preferred
location since 2005 as it services us
well. We have all the requisite printers,
art suppliers and restaurants locally
as well as being comfortably close for
our clients to pop round for meetings.
Our meetings are legendary – clients
often leave saying it’s the best meeting
they’ve ever had: hospitable, relaxed,
focused and fun.
Completely by chance, the staff
team is predominantly made up of
women. Although this has occurred
circumstantially, it is a welcome
situation. When we advertise, the ratio
of highly qualified and committed
women landscape architects is far
greater than that of the men. Women
have an adaptive nature that suits a
smallish company and the ethos we
hold that “everyone does everything”.
The team is essentially collaborative
and collegiate. Hierarchy is logically
expressed as experience and length of
time in the business.
The gardens at Arijiju,
Kenya where elephants
are often to be found
with their trunks in the
pool
It is the
unexpected in
nature that is
so beguiling
to us as
landscape
gardeners
»EXTRA FACTS
»Strongly championing
progressive land use and
constructive ecology
»Author of the worldwide
bestselling book,
The
Thoughtful Gardener:
An intelligent approach
to garden design
»Salon: we hold a
monthly salon “Jinny’s
Tonics” hosted by
leading luminaries from
the arts and culture
21JINNY BLOM |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Tackling challenges
It is interesting to see the issues young
professional women face at work. They
have to slog harder to win the respect
of the client group and contractors.
I aim to instil confidence in them
through encouraging them to express
their knowledge and professionalism
and not be intimidated. If supported,
they very quickly gain the respect of
our clientele and collaborators. Women
are never offered corporate gifts. We
are in effect construction professionals
and our male counterparts are
invariably offered days at Ascot,
playing golf or going to the rugby.
We get nothing. It must be a result
of some kind of archaic gentlemanly
embarrassment, assuming we only like
chocolates and champagne.
Landscape architecture is a highly
skilled multidisciplinary profession.
Recruitment is complicated. We rely
on candidates from overseas where
the relevant education is much better.
Since the Brexit referendum, finding
new staff of the right calibre has been
tough. The UK processes currently in
place make it tougher. We recently
recruited a Harvard-educated landscape
architect only to endure 11 months of
interaction with the Home Office to
secure a replacement for our lapsed
sponsorship licence – we succeeded.
For a small company, being subjected
to such complex procedures to fill a
skilled role is onerous andcostly.
We are a cross-border company
reflective of our client group. We have
always been fleet of foot and highly
responsive and this has been supported
by the government and fiscal systems.
We now need to register to pay VAT
in every European country, increasing
costs and slowing our operations. The
UK has always excelled at supporting
entrepreneurial freedom of movement,
but the current level of uncertainty is
unsettling across the board. Through
our years of work and unstinting efforts
we generate millions of pounds’ worth
of work annually, and we support
hundreds of skilled workers in the
landscape and associated trades both
here and abroad. We find ourselves,
however, in a shrinking puddle of
available skills, mired in ever increasing
bureaucracy – we cannot afford to be
a UK-centric business. More must be
done to support specialist businesses
to recruit fluidly from around the world
and trade easily across borders or we
are in significant danger of losing our
marketadvantage.
Knowing an oak
Iplant might still
be standing in
hundreds of years
is profoundly
satisfying
Effortless English
idylls such as this take
meticulous planning
and exceptional
horticulturalists to
maintain them
»NOTABLE PROJECTS
»Arijiju, Borana, Laikipia, Kenya: Conservation landscaping to a newly
built lodge voted “Best House in Africa” by
Conde Nast Traveler
2017.
»Temple Guiting Manor, Gloucestershire: Masterplan and execution
of an 18-roomed garden to a Grade I listed manor house in the
heart of the Cotswolds. Jinny Blom won the coveted Pinnacle
Achievement Award by the Drystone Walling Association of Great
Britain bestowed by the Patron HRH Prince Charles.
»Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, Fulham, London: Jinny Blom is
Artist in Residence for CW+ and is currently designing the first ever
bespoke therapeutic garden within the new state-of-the-art ICU on
the top floor of the hospital. The results of the garden use will be
measured academically for health benefits to NHS ICU patients who
are often at risk of developing PTSD as a result of their trauma.
»The Fife Arms, Braemar, Scotland: Hauser & Wirth, the internationally
renowned art gallery, has moved into hospitality with its new
venture ArtFarm and has opened a five-star hotel and restaurant in
Braemar. We have created an unusual landscape for the hotel.
»Waddesdon Manor: The studio is currently developing a very large
and richly layered landscape scheme for this historic estate. Designed
to attract 100,000 extra visitors over the late winter period.

www.jinnyblom.com

This article was sponsored by Jinny Blom Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister