I left college this year. Not one but two colleges. It's fair to say that it's been pretty intense the last few years. I studied at Merrist Wood College in Warplesdon, Surrey where I completed the RHS Level 2 Horticulture. It's a two part course over 2 years, Theory and Practical, both are challenging but give an excellent level of knowledge. The other was Garden Design at Sparsholt College in Hampshire. I thought it would be nice to do a bit of design again but I was wrong it - was great! The course is blummin' hard though. I hadn't any idea what an actual garden designer had to do apart from making lovely designs whilst sipping camomile tea. No time for that! Tutored by Chris Bird, Paul Hensey and Chris Prior - all giants in the design world - it was an eye opener on a massive scale.
Ever had to specify the foundations of a patio? the grade of wood used on a pergola? the load of a retaining wall? - no? well if you do the course at Sparsholt you soon will. It's very technical but not in a scary way. They build your understanding in every part of the process so that you can control every element. The workload is heavy, and at times it felt a little bit overwhelming, but it was definitely worth it. It has given me confidence to go out into the world and create designs for lovely clients who have put their trust in me. But I have to say the first one I did I had an inner dialogue of "what are your doing?, why are you doing that? what are you talking about?" going on. It turns out lots of other people feel this way and it keeps you on your toes.
I shall use this blog to chart by progress in the world of garden design and share with you what it's really like to be garden designer. You'd never have thought it! :-)