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Can anyone recommend a genuine qualified horticulturist to help me with planting out my garden in NW London?

Someone who has great vision, a lover of colour, variety of plants and smell. An in depth knowledge of soil and drainage is critical.


Ask your neighbours perhaps? Then you might get someone who knows local soil conditions.

Meaningful budget to get the job well done.


If you want to pay a trained horticulturalist with RHS qualifications to do a proper design and planting job-it will cost big time

On the other hand you could get a knowledgeable seasoned gardener with an for plants etc who hasn't done all the courses etc and could do just- if not better a job- based on experience

But you need to put a figure on it-a meaningful budget means nothing -what size garden is this and who is to maintain it?

A "gardener" will do all the follow up- a designer may not bit like an architect and a builder

On the other hand there are a lot of gardening cowboys

There are trade associations out there and sites like checkatrade where customers give recommendations-have you looked at those?

And has been said- asked neighbours?



Is this the sort of budget you're prepared for?  (just an example - I do not know the designer or her work)  or as you're in London, if money really is no object and you want the best there's always .

If your pocket is less capacious then why not ask Kew if they can recommend any of their former trainees who are just starting out on their own? 

Thank you sotongeoff and Dovefromabove.

Good links Dovefromabove, much appreciated.

You can also ask at Capel Manor (they have a college in the middle of Regent's Park as well as Edmonton). They have students who are doing design courses who are always looking for new work opportunities. You could even turn it into a competition..

020 7486 7930

Excellent idea Lucelastic. Thank you


I just want someone to adcise me a bit,I want to design and choose plants,but am v inexperienced,any ideas /IN sHEFFIELD


Louise-give us a bit more info-perhaps post a pictures well?-what you like don't like? aspect size of garden etc


Louise, try and do a soil sample; the kit is v. cheap from Garden Centres and it will enable you to figure out what plants will not tolerate those conditions, e.g. winter flowering heathers don't like alkali soil, but I believe summer flowering heathers do. (at this point I think someone more knowledgeable than I is going to gently correct me) but you get the idea A good garden designer, or a good gardener will advise on the 'hard landscaping'; where to put paths, steps, retaining walls. I was lucky to have a brilliant local builder who could sort out the different levels, (yes in the Fens the levels can vary by as much as 2 feet!)


GG many thanks. Would this explain why when I worked really far north in Scotland where the soil was v. peaty (the water came out of the taps brown, I won't even attempt to tell you what my lingerie looked like after washing it) a lot of the heathers were in flower? This was in summer, or as we would say in England; winter. I have never been so permanently cold in my life.

Gardening Grandma

I guess it would, since peat is acidic.

I once spent a freezing holiday in Scotland in August. I have never returned! In my neutral-ish garden soil, I can grow winter heathers only. Not fussed on heather, anyway, after that frozen fortnight looking at endless heather, mountains and lochs through a mist of wind-driven raiin.

Apologies to all forum members who live in Scotland!


ok thanks,i want to design shape and paths,hard standing,lawn and beds myself,small chelsea style garden east facing,stone walls 2 sides,fence 1,all gets some sun,quite sheltered,like very fragrant plants,like organic looking rambling romantic style,nothing formal,got to have some grass for little girl to play in summer, front garden west facing path up middle,neighbours got rhododendrons so presume camellia on my wishlist would do well? (williamsii think 'donation'?)I'm utterly useless on computer and have no idea how to put photos on,sorry,not v helpful I know,even doing this is quite something for me!! Particularly want to include eg zepherine drouhin(?) Madame gregoire something (!) clematis (2 or 3 particularly 1 montana) would love blue moon rose and some honeysuckle and peonies,just unsure which walls to put thing s on and front or back,wish i could put photo on,saw v impressive pics on herer!

Oh want garden to look full,and every season something to pop up,planted and inherited lots of spring bulbs,love idea of garden bursting with flowers


Louise, I too am not a technocrat, BUT if you have a mobile phone that has a camera, or a digital camera, they will have leads that attach to your computer. The computer will tell you how to download the pics. It hopefully will tell you to give them a name or date, and where to store them on the computer. Then you click on the picture of a tree on the tool bar above and 'browse' your pics and upload onto the site. I am sure that someone with more knowledge than I can improve on these instructions, but hey! people who know a lot about computers often talk way over my head; they don't understand how little I know but am still able to function

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