About

Old World Garden Design Old World Garden Design is a Burlington-based business that focuses on bringing clients expertise in garden planning, consultation, and care. Co-founders Silvia Jope and Andrea Ruprecht started their collaboration in 2004. Today, Silvia works with over 50 clients a season, including homeowners and businesses like the Community Health Center of Burlington. Silvia’s passion began in her mother’s garden in Cloppenburg, Germany. During her travels in the United States, she achieved her herbalist certification from the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in Boulder, Colorado. She came to the University of Vermont to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Forestry and Landscape Horticulture, graduating Magna cum Laude in 2003. Before graduation, Silvia began working with Gardener’s Supply Company as a freelance landscape designer and a nursery associate, and started Old World Garden Design the following year with Andrea, who has since returned to Germany. Presently, the services offered through Old World Garden Design include conceptual and 3D landscape plans, visiting consultation and coaching, and garden bed installation and maintenance. Silvia continues to work with Gardener’s Supply Company as the in-house landscape designer in Williston VT and to host workshops, including Landscape Design Workshop Series for Homeowners and Basic Concepts in Landscape Design. Silvia’s knowledge and creative design ideas from both the “Old and New World” help clients achieve their garden goals, while adding value and beauty to their properties and homes. Through Old World Garden Design, Silvia works with clients to create a customized plan that offers both functional and beautiful garden solutions. About Silvia Growing up in Northern Germany, I gained a passion for gardening as I watched my mother transform our bare townhouse backyard into a thriving, lush oasis of bloom and interest for every season. The urban gardens in Europe are much smaller in comparison to the United States, but are more often abundant with plants on every level and with a strong attention to detail. Every nook is a potential reservoir for plants, carefully selected for their beauty and their purpose. At the time, I did not fully appreciate the sense of peace and beauty a garden can bring to everyday life. As I have become a parent and a homeowner, I have gained an appreciation for outdoor living spaces, and have discovered a talent for creating them in the process. Each site has a unique character, and I believe the design should always fit the site, not the other way around. I want to pay respect to the natural character of a location by enhancing, rather than dominating, with my design. The garden is also an extension of the home environment and by developing a good sense for outdoor living spaces, together we can meet practical, recreational, and aesthetic human needs. As a standard practice, I discuss future activities and desired features in the garden with the homeowner, so that I can consider all factors inherent to the site and the homeowner’s needs in the design. My favorite challenges are designing family-friendly gardens. While I was a student at UVM, I was involved with planning the Children’s Garden at the Ethan Allen Homestead. There, I designed an herb spiral, a traditional German-style herb garden for both culinary and medicinal purposes. I also enjoy the challenge of designing woodlands gardens underneath existing deciduous tree stands, as I believe mature shade trees are the pillars and guiding features of a unified landscape composition. I am a problem solver, and each project is like a puzzle that challenges me to create a customized plan that offers both functional and beautiful garden solutions.
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