Sunday, 6 April 2008

Garden Design - Dispelling the Myths

I’m a garden designer, you may have seen us on TV and wondered what we do apart from slagging off Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, so I thought I’d give you an insight into my creative life. Yes it is a very cool job, and yes I do love it, but probably not for the reasons you think. I thought I’d start by dispelling some common myths:-

  1. People ask ‘How’s your gardening going?’ (my Mother mainly) - I am not a gardener. Actually, that’s not true – I’m a keen gardener, but this is my hobby, not my job. What I mean is that I don’t do gardening for other people. I do occasionally do a bit of planting, but only when I have to, when the people who usually do it for me are not available. But that’s it.

  2. People say ‘Oooh it must be lovely to be outside all the time, not sat at a desk’ - I don’t spend all my time outside. Far from it. I’m either standing in front of my drawing board, sitting at my computer sourcing materials, plants and specialists, talking on the telephone, visiting clients, or doing something random to gain inspiration, the latter occasionally does take me outside. I go on site when my gardens are being built, but this is a small fraction of my working time. I do my own surveys and then I’m outside, but only for a few hours.

  3. People say ‘I suppose this nasty weather makes it difficult for you to work’ - the weather does not in any way interfere with my ability to design gardens. Well, it shouldn’t as the winter is the best time for people to think about how they want their garden to look next summer. The reality is that most people go outside on a sunny day in spring, decide they want their garden re-designed for the summer, and call me. So, I do end up doing the majority of my work throughout the spring, summer and autumn, but I’m actually busy most of the year – some people are foresighted and organised enough to start the planning process in autumn/winter. I’m not being disparaging, human nature dictates that as soon as it gets cold we don’t want to go outside and our thoughts are on the interior of the house, not the garden.

  4. People say ‘Oooh, you’re just like Charlie Dimmock then?’ – errrrm, no, actually – no offence Charlie.

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