Sam says:- “The reason I chose to do a course with PSGD was because it was very practical. The lectures were given by people actually working in garden design. This gave me both the necessary skills and the confidence to set up my own business and the school continues to provide me with advice and support as I continue to build this up.
I was encouraged to get my first commissions before the end of the course. This meant that I was able to take my first designs into the classroom for review which gave me the confidence to set myself up in business as soon as the course was over.
In my first year of business, I designed 16 gardens. In my second year, I had designed this number by June. I certainly feel extremely confident about the future.”
LESLEY HEGARTY & ROBERT WEBBER
Lesley Hegarty and Robert Webber met at Bristol University Botanic Garden where Robert was Head Gardener and Lesley a volunteer. After studying the Diploma course, their complementary skills in plantsmanship, design and business inevitably led them to form their own garden design business, the HegartyWebber Partnership.
“We thank the Pickard School for giving us the creative inspiration and fundamental design building blocks which started us on our way” says Lesley.
The Partnership’s initial project was the first phase of a 5-acre garden on a large country estate. This gave the opportunity to create a garden out of a field, tie the house into the landscape and enhance its beautiful views with a large gravel garden and several herbaceous and mixed borders.
Projects since then have included a special needs garden, gardens for newly built executive homes, an uber cool ‘room outside’ in a smart new development in Clifton and a sweeping drive and entrance garden for a country house in the Mendips.
Five years on, Robert and Lesley continue to derive immense job satisfaction from their work, and currently have 7 very different projects on the go.
Mark Latchford joined our Diploma course and whilst studying carried on his full time job – as a night time security guard for a City law firm. Mark’s determination to study and succeed at his chosen profession meant that he did not miss a lecture, or a single deadline for submission of work, despite his nocturnal working hours which sometimes saw him come straight to the School from work.
He obtained distinction for his stunning final project – a design for a complex roof garden near Borough Market, London, for a Russian couple involved in the Arts who wanted an elaborate and theatrical outdoor space.
When Ruth Marshall from Cool Gardens Design Studio in Buckinghamshire – herself a Pickard graduate – needed an extra designer, she contacted us to see if we had any newly graduated students who might be interested in joining her team. We thought of Mark and put them in touch. Mark was delighted when Ruth offered him the position.
Resigning from his security job, Mark now works full time for Ruth. “Things are great – couldn’t be better, in fact” he says.
See more of Ruth and her team’s work at www.coolgardens.co.uk
Shortly after graduating Lindsay’s show garden at the RHS Malvern Show, “A Twist in the Tale”, a childrens’ storytelling garden built by her fellow student Phil Johnson of Artisan Landscapes, won her a Silver medal and the first Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship. She went on to win a Gold medal for her garden “Bradstone Bacchus Garden” at the Malvern Autumn show before winning Silver Gilt at Chelsea for her urban garden “Dawn Chorus”.
Before joining our Diploma course, Lindsay had no previous garden design experience – she did not even have her own garden – and she had been working in London as an accounts manager in the graphic design industry.