SGD Student Deb – small, modern garden design – Successful Garden & Lifestyle Design

Introducing the whirlwind that is Deb! She whizzed through the Small Garden Design Formula course at incredible speed! I’ll now pass you over to her so she can tell you in her own words what she did with her daughter’s garden…

Why do the course?

The objective was to have my daughter’s garden landscaped, she moved into a new house on a new development summer 2023 and so had the obligatory turfed back garden.

The reasons for choosing the course with Successful Garden Design was as follows –

  1. No garden designers seemed interested in a small garden project (10m x8m).
  2. Those who were interested were quoting up to £6,000 for a design alone.
  3. There was a specific course for small gardens.
  4. Once the cost of the landscaping was added to the quotes for the design the total project cost exceeded the value that would actually be added to the house value. So frustration led me to look for design courses I could do myself.

Successful Garden Design course appealed because it suited my learning style, it is very practical and is delivered in a manner which encourages you to have a go, I could do it remotely and at a time to suit me. The greatest appeal was the cost; a few hundred pounds versus upwards of £6k (mmmm let me think 🤔!!).

There is also the added extra that if you choose, you can send your design to Rachel for her to look over and have the design critiqued. This reassures you that there is an expert in the background if needed.

Takeaway messages:  

For my first attempt at designing a garden it was a very positive and enjoyable exercise. I am now hoping to rethink my own garden after our house extension is completed.

The landscaping took 2 weeks longer than it was estimated to take but that was down to a combination of weather and the fact that the landscaper we employed was a perfectionist and he also offered to do extras such as laying slabs to the front door.

I ordered all the materials online without seeing them in person and kept my fingers crossed that they would match. I acknowledge that was a risk but thankfully they look great and the companies delivered as scheduled so other than the weather we didn’t have any big issues.

I would say that having presented the design which was drawn to scale mitigated any confusion or guesswork and the landscaper just got on with it.  

The whole process from starting the course to completion of the garden took 6 weeks!

So the take home message is – follow the steps within the course for the design, employ a reputable landscaper and it works!

We now have the fun part buying plants and that will evolve over time and as the budget allows – for now my daughter is just thrilled or perhaps amazed with the fact that her mother managed to design a garden and make it a reality.


What a wonderful job she did with her daughter’s garden. I hope she’ll keep us posted as the garden grows and the planting matures.



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