Do you love to spend time outdoors, and have a creative flair? Are you feeling bogged down by your career prospects and want to try something new? Why not see whether becoming a garden designer would be right for you! Many people decide to re-train and become garden designers.
It could take a couple of years but you could have a completely new career. How can you know if this career change is right for you? Below, find five things you need to become a garden designer. Of course, you can learn anything with time and perseverance, so if you feel inspired just go for it!
- Passion for gardens
This is #1 on the list of must-need attributes of garden designers. If you hate gardens and everything they stand for, first of all, who are you? And second of all, this is not the right career for you.
However, if you delight at the sight of a butterfly wafting past, enjoy kneeling on soft borders and doing some pruning or love making meals out of the fruit of your labour, garden design might be for you! This is especially true if you’ve ever changed your own garden around, or if you have a flair for design in general.
- People skills
As a garden designer, you’ll need to work closely with your clients to achieve their desired end effect. This means having good listening and interpreting skills so you can put their vague descriptions into a well-thought-out plan.
If you find yourself acting as a mediator between colleagues or friends who have trouble communicating, or if you are simply a good listener, then this job will suit you well. You will have to be able to translate client requests to talk to your supplier, and vice versa.
Being able to talk to lots of different kinds of people is an asset at this job. If you can make people comfortable around you, you’ll be well on your way to increasing the trust clients have in you. This is crucial to getting the job done quickly and effectively.
- Patience & resilience
A key characteristic of garden designers is their patience and resilience, for a number of reasons. The first is that this job involves a “slow burn” type of achievement process. You won’t see the fruit of your labour for years after making the plan.
Therefore you must be capable of sticking to a plan, and having a long-term view. No-one wants a designer to give up halfway through a project, or become flummoxed at roadblocks as they implement their design. It takes hard work to get things done!
You also have to be patient with suppliers, contractors, other hired people as well as clients. They won’t always have all their ducks in a row at the right time, so you must learn to have a flexible and patient mindset so you don’t get frustrated.
- An eye for detail & creativity
Garden designers must have at least some creative flair, as they go about creating gorgeous designs for all sorts of clients. They have to know how to create whatever the client wants, whether it be a sitting area, vegetable patch, water feature or a sensory or low-maintenance garden.
Your grand ideas must come with an eye for detail, however. If you can’t catch a subtle piece of information like a water drainage problem at one end of the garden, you could cost your client a lot of money. You need to be able to think big and small.
- Business acumen
Running a garden design business is like running any other business – you must be conscious of cash-flow, marketing and legal requirements before you get started. This will require some investment of time and money, which is why many people start their business on the side before quitting their full-time job.
If you already have some experience working in a small business – your own or someone else’s – you’ll be better equipped to be a garden designer than most people. You are unlikely to be hired as a garden designer if you don’t have experience, so you have to start small.
There you have it! If you’re interested in becoming a garden designer, now you know all about the qualities and skills you need to do it.