The end of last month marked a couple of anniversaries for me. It was 5 years since I qualified as a Garden Designer and 3 years since I started writing my column ‘Up the Garden Path’ in the Conduit Magazine which I hope you enjoy and find useful.
My change in career direction was not planned. In 2016 I was working for Avon and Somerset Constabulary as an Investigation Support Officer; it was a particularly unsettling time for me as the Force had undergone re-organisation and after 30 years, I felt it was the perfect time to do something different.
I looked at the courses Kingston Mauward College in Dorchester had to offer and saw the Advanced Garden Design Diploma. I had always had a love of plants and enjoyed my own garden, so thought it sounded just what I was looking for.
Not in a million years when I enrolled on the course did, I think that it would lead to me to having my own thriving Garden Design business, Gold medal winning show gardens at BBC Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC and Taunton Flower Show and to date over 150 completed projects ranging from full garden designs to borders of all shapes and sizes.
Not forgetting all the contacts and supporters I have met and established relationships with along the way, from local garden centers and nurseries to landscapers and suppliers, I really could not have done it without them.
In March 2020 I took the plunge and left the security of the constabulary deciding to concentrate full-time on my own business, some would say a brave move considering there was a pandemic looming on the horizon.
I need not have been worried; we are busier than we have ever been. The learning curve in setting up my own business has at times been almost vertical, but I have loved every minute!
Hopefully by now the worst of the frosts have gone and your thoughts are turning to what plants to put into your own garden borders. If your aim is to choose plants that will give you months of colour, then you could do worse than consider these.
Osteospermum is perfect if space is limited, these trouble-free daises only require occasional deadheading and of course watering and are ideal to use in containers or window boxes.
Geranium ‘Patricia’ has magenta-coloured flowers that have a purple centre. Suitable in sun or partial shade. There are lots of varieties of perennial geraniums to choose from, so read the label carefully to check it will suit the space you have to give it.
Nepta ‘Walkers Low’ an essential plant for the cottage garden, loved by bees and cats! Also known as catmint, there are several different varieties to choose from and is the ideal plant to use to soften border edges as it tumbles over a wall or path.
Penstemon will flower for weeks in the garden and there are so many colours to choose from. Like most summer flowering plants, dead-head regularly and it will continue to bloom until the first frosts.
If you are considering a garden design project or need some help revamping those garden borders, then give me a call on 07899 710168.
Until next time