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Nicola Hope Horticulture & Design

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There I was, driving home from yet another potential gardening client who wanted me to draw them a design. “Wouldn’t you prefer to employ a garden designer? I know plenty of fantastic people who can help you with your garden”. The reply was always the same. “No, no, we don’t need a designer. We just need a bit of help with ideas and planting”.

Driving home. Frustrated. I’m a horticulturalist. A good one. An experienced gardener. All of the right letters after my name. I’m not a designer. Why do people keep asking me to draw? I can draw. I have a fine and multidisciplinary art background. I have plenty of ideas and I know about plants… hang on. Should I become a garden designer?

I had already done some research and found a really interesting course. By the end of that car journey home I had made up my mind. I was going to become a garden designer. I am absolutely fascinated by the design process and I adore the course at the Cotswold Gardening School but my transition from horticulturalist / artist to garden designer certainly has not been as easy as it sounds. Let me begin to try to explain why. I will be documenting my garden design student experiences regularly and in full colour here at Please join me.