Sam’s stunning garden – update

We featured Sam’s garden last year. To refresh your memory, here’s what she started out with…

Sam says “I completed Rachel’s Great Garden Design Formula during the winter of 2015-16 and spent every minute of every waking hour imagining what my completed garden could look like. I got the chance to build it in spring 2016 and when it was finished, I couldn’t believe that what I’d had in my head for so long was finally real. 

This summer, the long-awaited blooming of the garden has given me so much pleasure. I love wandering down the garden to see what is in bud, and what has just opened into flower, and now the raised beds at the back are starting to really provide for us with tons of strawberries, raspberries, peas and beans, lettuces and garlic, plus masses of sweet peas to pick for the house.

I couldn’t be more delighted with the layout of the garden, although I do plan changes in my head all the time – in terms of which plants need to move around in the autumn, or what I’ll sow as seed as annuals next year. 

Just before building the garden I was lucky enough to attend Chelsea 2016, a day which in many ways transformed my life. I was so inspired, I stopped simply toying with the idea of becoming a garden designer – I became serious about it. I enrolled on the diploma course at the London College of Garden Design in September, and I have just graduated.

It’s been such an amazing year, I’ve learned tons, been inspired by seeing the collections at Kew where we’re based change throughout the seasons, and by attending the Chelsea Flower show and getting behind the scenes tours from the designers on their exquisite gardens.  This summer I’ll be launching my new garden design business – feel free to follow my adventures on Twitter (@sam_cowen) and visit my new website ( where you can see the designs I’ve come up with to suit gardens of all sizes and shapes. 

Many, many thanks to Rachel for helping me take my first steps on this incredible journey. 

All the best


Great job Sam!

Huge congratulations to Sam on graduating and becoming a professional garden designer and for creating such a beautiful garden at home.

If you’d like to do the same SGD course she did then take a look at our Great Garden Formula online course.



About Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 20 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!

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