I’m delighted to bring you another SGD student garden this week. It’s quite a transformation…

Garden Before and After
I will pass you over to Karin to tell you all about her experience of designing their garden…
We have lived in our house for over 20 years and brought up our family here, but it wasn’t until lockdown happened that we finally had a bit more time to think about what to do with our large, sprawling garden.


Although we have always loved the space, we never felt the garden quite worked. The borders were wiggly and random and the whole garden sloped – again randomly – not only up and down but also side to side. We came across your website by chance and suddenly thought that maybe we could have a go ourselves at designing it.

As I had a bit more time on my hands than my husband, I worked my way through your fantastic Fast Track Design Formula course.  This gave me the confidence to have a go and not only carefully measure everything up in the garden and draw a scale plan, but also to play around freely with ideas.


It took many goes and many designs to finally come up with the finished one. Your advice about dividing a long garden up (it is 30m by 12m) was invaluable and we really liked the idea of soft curves.
We also had to think about the different levels in the garden. Once we had decided to divide the space up in three, these three spaces naturally worked out as three different levels – a bottom patio, the big lawn and a smaller top lawn with an additional seating area. We added a path on one side to not only add interest and a journey, but also to provide a practical way of moving about with a wheelbarrow or anything else on wheels for that matter.
The work started late spring using a reputable local landscaping company (again following your useful advice on what to look for in a company). Once the hard landscaping was done, we started planting. With the help of your Plant Design Formula course, we had devised a planting scheme. We used many of your ideas, including some of the ready-made combinations that you recommend. As the garden is quite long, we repeated some of these combinations and interspersed these with power plants and some additional perennials that we already had.

We could never have done this without you! Your courses are truly inspiring but at the same time incredibly practical where everything you teach can be applied, even by complete novices like ourselves. We are so pleased with the final result and the gives us pleasure every day.

I’m so pleased for you Karin, you’ve done an amazing job with your garden, well done! I hope it inspires many others to take the plunge and DIY design their garden. And I hope you keep us updated with more photos as the garden matures :o)

Do the same courses Karin did…



Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    3 replies to "Long garden design – SGD student Karin"

    • Ingrid Waymark

      That is absolutely beautiful! Definitely a WOW.

    • Elizabeth Goddard

      Fantastic design. I particularly like the raised areas and the way the circles incorporate wide, comfortable steps.

    • Florence Tumwine

      Oh my goodness that is very good work. Very neat! Kudos Karin.

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