During the past twenty years I have been a garden designer, and have had the opportunity to create many gardens.
Wendy, what inspired you to become a garden designer?
I came to garden design from a love of vegetation.
What types of garden have you designed?
I have developed fields into gardens, vicarage gardens, cottage gardens, Mediterranean gardens, courtyards, borders and small city spaces including a veranda on the fourth floor of a tower block. Our garden in Dorset is the most challenging since it is on a 45degree slope battered by sea breezes and regularly visited by deer and rabbits. The gardens I have designed
have all year round interest. They have a strong underlying structure with plant combinations
which excite the eye with colour and texture. I love to use the sun as it rises or sets to backlight the plants.
What about your relationship with your clients?
I commit myself to fully understand my client’s desires and aim to create for them a perfectly suited garden. I believe in a strong underlying structure.
How do you work?
A detailed description is in Project Stages
After the initial meeting on site, I survey the garden, which includes taking a soil sample for analysis and all the measurements. I would have noted the character of the house and the site, the trees, where the prevailing wind is coming from and what are the surrounding materials – brick, stone. Then I sketch an overall outline plan. When the outline plan is approved by the client I work on the planting plan – what will thrive? It is always an interesting enterprise because it is a plan made in four dimensions – three spatial and one temporal – spring, summer, autumn and winter. I combine the layers of colours and shapes to give the garden a sense of movement and to delight the senses…
Why should I ask a garden designer to create something for me?
Because I can save you time, money and effort and can help you enjoy your space.
Does it cost a lot to use a garden designer?
A rule of thumb is 10% of the budget, but you can think of it as an investment just like using an architect to build or extend your house. An estate agent will value the garden at 30% of the value of the house.