My life as a Garden Designer – February highlights…2 Written by Lisa on 5th Mar 2012 in From the drawing board
February was a really exciting month for me mostly because I finally got to visit my client in France. As well as the trip down to La Rochelle we decided to visit our family house in Brittany which we share with my partner’s brother and sister. Of course we chose the coldest week to be there – the temperature in La Rochelle was -10, even the sea in the harbour was frozen, something I’ve never seen before!
It took us a while to warm up the house in Brittany as it has been empty since October and unfortunately proved rather challenging to work from there as we were relying on a mobile broadband dongle which wasn’t quite as reliable as our connection at home…a good job our hotel in La Rochelle was a bit more up to date on that front…and a bit warmer too!
In La Rochelle I spent the day with my client working through the design with her. I have more work to do now that I am back in the UK, but it was great to be able to really understand the scope of the project and to see the CAD drawings she had put together of the house that isn’t built yet.
Earlier in the month I had great fun with Vicki Knights when she worked her magic and took some new headshots of me which will soon be updated on my blog & newsletter…
Vicki is brilliant – she listened to my brief and then sent me over a bunch of fabulous photos from which I had the very difficult job of choosing which I liked best. The one above was by far my favourite, and thanks to my friends and colleagues who gave their opinion and helped me choose, it was a tough job.
Whilst I was in France I wrote the material for my new Design Your Own Garden workshop and I am really looking forward to the first one on 31st March which is almost full, just 2 spaces left!
This month’s Society of Garden Designer’s cluster group meeting was about show gardens and two of the group members, Jayne Thomas and Andrew Fisher-Tomlin spoke to us about the excitment and challenges of designing and judging a show garden. Jayne designed Show Gardens at Hampton Court Flower Show in 2010 & 2011 and Andrew is currently an RHS show judge so it was great to hear about things from his point of view.
Before I went to France I had a brilliant coaching session with Elizabeth Cairns of Amovita and I am very excited about the months ahead and how I will be moving my business forward this year. It’s so important to take time out sometimes to reflect and check that you are on the right track. Being true to your personal and business values is so important if you are to remain competely passionate about what you do.
From a work point of view, the last 2 weeks have been really busy and I’ve had 5 new enquiries in the past 10 days – you can tell that spring is in the air! Of those 5, I have already met 4 people and on Friday I had confirmation that 2 would like to go ahead which is really exciting…
On the blog front, I have put some more time aside to plan and write my blog posts. I have some really great things planned including interviewing some high profile designers – I’ve already spoken to Duncan Heather, the founder and principal or the Oxford College of Garden Design and I am meeting up with Andrew Wilson next week, a director at The London College of Garden Design, practising designer, writer and RHS judge. I’d like to hear from you too, what sort of things would you like me to write about?
As you’ll know from last month’s post, I am a member of a couple of networking groups. This month, my local Athena group asked me to speak to them about design and I thoroughly enjoyed it…we designed a garden together which was great fun. I also went to the Horsley Network and the topic this month was LinkedIn…always good to hear about these things from an expert’s point of view – I picked up some great tips about how to use it more effectively.
Last but not least, I spent a lovely evening with Jill Anderson and Pamela Johnson who are both friends and fellow garden designers who have recently written a book called Planting Design Essentials. They had agreed to speak about their experience of writing and also signed copies of the book. When I’ve had more time to read through my copy properly, I’ll share this with you.
March is going to be a busy month but I am looking forward to the challenge…planting season is around the corner too so I’ll have chance to get my hands dirty for a change!