Gardens are as individual as we are; simple or complex, open or hidden, playful or serious, for everyone or just someone.
They can be a place of rest and relaxation.
A ‘useable’ space, for growing, walking and playing.
Somewhere to view from indoors.
A working garden with fruit trees and vegetables.
A wild zone, not for lawn mowers, with a wildflower meadow and orchard.
There are many choices to make on the way to having the garden you want.
Maybe the garden was created previously and just needs a little ‘tweaking’ to make it feel that it is part of your life now.
At other times the garden area doesn't feel right at all, and needs more dramatic interventions.
Just by changing certain plants, or making structural interventions to the layout to create a space that feels right.
Garden design uses a language of its own to create a sense of place, through which a garden can take shape.
verbena and fennel
wildflowers in summer
lavender & alchemilla mollis
A design begins with a consultation, which is an informal discussion about your wishes for the garden. From the consultation I will create a brief, which will form the basis for the design. In agreement, I will measure up your garden (large scale gardens may require a qualified land surveyor), with this information I can start designing.
At the next stage of the process I will develop an outline/concept design, which is to scale, with supporting sketches/mood boards for discussion. This is to give you a good impression of your future garden and allows for the design to be worked through with any necessary changes to be made. The outline/concept design gives you a good idea of the layout of the garden it does not finalise material choices, levels or any intricate details of features.
To give you a good idea of what plants to put in your garden I can put together a planting plan, which shows the location, quantity, and other characteristics of plants suitable for the garden.
A final stage, is the layout plan which will show the final arrangement of all areas of hard and soft landscaping involved in creating the garden. The layout plan can inform a contractor so that he is able to estimate costs and build the garden. I will also (if agreed), draw up more detailed design plans that may be necessary for the construction of walls, etc.
The design can be used to develop a garden either in stages over a period of time, or sooner for an immediate result.
a pathway leading down a mown strip,weaves in amongst the white bark of these birch trees, grass is kept long for wildlife
thick leaves create a backdrop for these muscari flowerheads to reveal themselves
planting teasels in the garden attracts these beautiful goldfinches, which are one of the only birds to manage to get at the seeds of this plant
wonderful daisy heads flower profusely throughout summer, these plants love to spread into the cracks in walls
lavenders are great for attracting bees and butterflies, and the strong colour and texture makes for a lovely display in the summer sun
the pretty flowers of the annual cosmos plant, attract many bees and butterflies to a garden
the tall purple flowerheads of these veronicastrums show up against the fluffy flowers of the smoke bush 'cotinus'.
poppies are evocative of an english wildlife meadow, flowering for a long time through the summer months
sarah cadman garden designer
Tracing it back to where I started as a designer, takes me to art college, drawing from life, learning about colours, textures and shapes when studying for my qualification in Textile Design for Interiors.
Creating patterns that evolve through a process of studying different styles, shapes, textures and colours, and then pulling them all together. This can be said to be one of the basic ingredients when designing for a garden.
Hence, when I later retrained it felt quite natural to choose garden design, gaining a BA(Hons) in Landscape Architecture at Greenwich University.
Experience was gained whilst working for Ginkgo landscapes, Randle Siddeley, and later freelancing for two of the UK’s top garden designers.
A year after moving to East Sussex in 2010, I set up a gardening and garden design company.
Hands-on experience of maintaining and developing gardens has been invaluable for me as a designer, to be directly involved with the plants and how they work in different spaces informs the right plant selection.
I am a great advocate of organic, non-chemical gardening, wishing to help our environment, plants and wildlife.
Below are a few gardens that I have designed, or replanted,
Please click on the pictures to go through to further images of that garden.
Please contact me if you are planning a garden design project for your home or business.
Fill out the contact form below, and I will get back to you to discuss how I can help.
Hartfield Road, Forest Row, East Sussex.