Garden designer

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Lindsey is a partner in a landscape design and construction company. She is responsible for drawing up plans and supervising the construction of gardens, as well as choosing the trees, plants and shrubs to go in them.

What does your job involve?

I visit the client and discuss the main requirements. After inspecting the site, I go away and draw up a design. Apart from the plants I need to think about other materials to use, such as water features, path coverings, fencing and so forth. I discuss this with the client, estimate the costs and work out a schedule of how to bring the design into reality.

How do you organise the project?

I organise the delivery of materials needed, brief my partner on what jobs need doing on site and then supervise all the planting. However, most projects cannot be completed in two days as in TV make-over programmes!

What do you do in a typical day?

It can be a mix of tasks. For instance, I could be taking a brief from a potential client, drawing up plans or talking through them with the customer. I could also be working on site, buying materials and plants or doing some office work. Apart from the garden design work I get involved in the business tasks associated with running a company – sales and marketing, paying wages and keeping accounts.

What hours do you work?

I have to be flexible, but mostly I work from 9.00am to 5.00pm. I visit clients in the evening and on Saturdays, as I have to fit in with when people work and when they are available to see me.

What equipment do you use?

Drawing equipment, because my designs are very creative and are all drawn by hand, not on the computer. I also use surveying equipment and all sorts of gardening tools on site.

What do you like best about your job?

I like having the opportunity to be creative at work. Also, it is satisfying being your own boss and working to your own standards. However, it can be hard sometimes working outside in wet and cold weather.

Lindsey's route to her Garden designer career

  • GCSEs.
  • A levels.
  • National Diploma in Art and Design.
  • Degree in Garden Design.

Lindsey's Garden designer tips

  • Once you have made a career decision go for it. If you have the confidence and commitment to be a success you will achieve it.
  • Remember that your clients are paying you for a design they will be happy with. Be flexible and don't try forcing them to accept your ideas.

Garden designer related jobs

  • Countryside ranger/warden
  • Landscape architect
  • Landscaper
  • Parks officer

Salary of a Garden designer

  • Garden designers can earn from £15,000 to more than £30,000.
  • Many work on a freelance basis, so incomes are based either on an hourly rate or set projects.

A career as a Garden designer

  • Few companies employ garden designers directly and most designers are, therefore, selfemployed. However, many garden centres and landscaping companies offer a garden design service – offering scope for freelance services.
  • Most clients choose garden designers on the basis of previous experience and relevant qualifications.
  • A variety of HNC/HND and foundation courses are available with degrees in garden design offered at many universities and colleges. NVQs/SVQs in Constructing and Restoring Landscapes at Level 2 and 3, Designing and Specifying Land Designs at Level 3 and Designing Landscapes and Planning their Management at Level 4, are also on offer.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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