Healing Gardens

Gardens and gardening have always been great passions of mine ever since I was small. I trained as a designer and plantswoman in the early 1990’s and have run a successful design and planting business, The Outdoor Room, ever since. I have designed and planted over a thousand gardens since that time!

However, recently I have begun to specialise more in the skilled management of designed gardens and landscapes, especially those with a healing remit e.g in clinics as well as private gardens. I use herbs, and medicinal plants as well as the more usual shrubs and trees as I understand we have a connection with these plants that we co-evolved with. I believe  plants and gardens are powerful healing agents and connection with the earth is vital for health.

I particularly love to work with you to create an outdoor space of calm and healing. I am the antidote to all those glitzy TV-inspired ‘instant gardens’. Gardening is about process not product – despite what you may have heard or seen elsewhere. In my home clinic, I combine a healing space within the garden so that you are surrounded by greenery rather than electro-smog!

Drop me an email or connect with me by email. See my work, prices, etc below

Consultation

I offer one-off onsite consultations to discuss your garden, suggest ideas and advise solutions, written up as a report of suggestions and improvements you could make with plant ideas, etc from £60. This also makes an ideal Birthday Present for the garden lover; ask me for vouchers.

Design

Creating a garden that’s great for you and the environment

The Garden Design process begins with a consultation where we will discuss your requirements and options, and I will recommend either a design or a report of recommendations. If you choose the design option then a survey will be arranged, an outline plan drawn up and, if agreed, a construction plan which can be used to build the garden. I can recommend builders or you may wish to do this yourself. I will then project manage the build and/or prepare a planting plan to be installed once the build is complete. Finally, a maintenance plan may be prepared to help you look after the garden or I can arrange to come periodically to help you with management.

Advice and consultation – for those who do not need a full design service but require advice on planting, revamping individual borders, soil testing, identifying plants, pests & diseases, etc., an individual consultation can be arranged charged at my standard rates. (see about page for costs). A written report is normally sufficient to detail all the problems and their suggested solutions and I can produce border planting plans if required.

Garden mentoring

Not sure what you want but know that your garden does not satisfy you? Want to work on it over a period of time with professional input? My mentoring service works with you to formulate a plan for your garden, with plant identification, advice on pruning, lawn care and general maintenance tips tailored to your particular situation.

A series of site visits at periodic intervals enables us to determine your needs and problems and guide you to getting the most out of your garden. You are not committed to more than you require. My holistic approach ensures that I work with you over time to attain your particular goals.

Cost

A garden design is a very complex and information gathering process which aims to interpret your ideas in the most creative way possible – it is more a service than product. Charges are based on my hourly rates (see table below) – you will be given a quote at the initial consultation depending on the number of hours I think it will take. Quotes will be given in writing after the initial site visit but for an estimate of the proposed charges it will be 5-15% of projected building costs.

Consultation visit – 1st half hour free then £60 p/h
Survey*/Design/ Plan Drawings / Building Specification £75 p/h
Outline Sketch Plan From £150
Garden Management; myself £45 p/h±
Garden Management; myself >10 miles £50 p/h±
2 people myself and assistant £65 p/h±
2 people myself and assistant>10 miles £75 p/h±
Mentoring/training/garden improvement £60 p/h±

* If the garden is large or very complex then this may be undertaken by a professional surveyor. I can recommend good companies.

±minimum 2 hours. Reductions on whole days.

Garden Design – why design a garden?

The truth is most gardens lack proper structure to ensure year-round interest, unity and a sense of fitness for purpose. This can only be achieved with the help of a trained eye and an understanding of the medium – something I hope to bring to every scheme I undertake.

At its best, garden design is an art rather than just a layout, with as much thought given to composition, balance, structure, form, harmony and illusion as planting. The test of good design is simplicity – a sense of calm, a place that is relaxing to be in. This is actually not that easy to achieve – the tendency being to ‘over design’ and put too much in.


Me – my CV

  • City and Guilds Horticulture 1987

  • M.Sc. in Landscape Design, Management and Ecology Wye College, University of London 1989

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Garden Design, Pickard School of Garden Design 2003

More information

A passionate plant and garden enthusiast, I have taught courses at the University of Southampton, Taunton’s College, Southampton and Mountbatten College, Romsey. I have been designing gardens since 1989 and have completed hundreds of gardens in that time. I have no particular style, preferring to respond to the site and client individually. My interest in modern art and architecture influence me to provide clients with bespoke gardens that are as individual as my clients.

Recently I made the decision to add holistic therapies to my skills as I come across so much need for healing amongst the people I meet. For me the links between the ecology of the earth and that of the body are profound. I have built a therapy room based in the garden which makes a lovely setting for healing. Check out my sister site www.alchemytherapies.co.uk for more information.