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  • Writer's pictureDan

Journey of a self employed garden designer; complimentary skills

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

When I'm not sat at my drawing desk doodling, creating, musing and bringing garden ideas to life, I am working as a landscaper. In all weathers and conditions, tackling a wide variety of jobs from small fence repair jobs to hundreds of square meters of hard landscaping across Bristol and North Somerset.


The landscaping side to my work helps me finance the main design part of my business, it's my bread and butter. But it doesn't play second fiddle, it complements the design work and was a necessity after leaving a steady job in the hospitality sector a few years ago.

I work on site in scorching hot sun, pouring rain and bitterly cold windy winters. We dig, break, cut and whack our way to a well-earned sandwich and cup of tea. I love the landscaping; it helps to keep my mind and body healthy and without it I wouldn’t have been able to restart my career could not afford to progress it to where it is today. Not only does it pay my way to pushing on my business with financing advertising etc.

More importantly, it helps to make me a better designer.


There are often unforeseen complications when landscaping, sometimes things just don't work in realty because nature is wild and unpredictable. Having the practical experience to inform my designs means I am more likely to consider potential problems and build factors in to the design to mitigate these.

Understanding gardens and the realities of landscaping has provided me with a deeper respect for the trades who can turn a hand drawn garden design in to a fully formed garden. Key lessons I have learnt include:

· Measure twice draw once

· A garden survey is essential for an accurate design

· A garden survey won’t reveal all factors to take in to consideration

· Landscapers vary hugely in their pricing depending on the quality of build they offer

· Builders merchants may not always be able to fit in with a garden build schedule

. Don't be afraid to sub-contract parts of the design and/ or build to a specialist

I am very lucky to have experience of both design gardens and building them through my landscaping experience. I would love to spend all my time designing, but the time I do spend landscaping, allows me to provide a better level of service to my clients.


Get in touch for a free consultation to find out how I can help you make the most of your garden, and guide the garden build process using my experience as a landscaper.

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