I always love it when SGD students send me photos of their gardens after doing our courses. We featured Sam’s finished garden a few years ago. So I thought we’d revisit it to see how it’s looking in the summer of 2019.

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.”

July 2019 Update

Sam went on to launch her garden design business (www.chilterngardendesign.com) and then got snapped up as a fully fledged Landscape Designer at the very prestigious Aralia, one of the best landscaping companies out there. And you can see why – here’s a sample of Sam’s skills while she was still learning! 

Coursework garden design by Sam Cowen

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.



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!

    5 replies to "Sam’s stunning garden – update"

    • Paula

      OMG!!! How beautiful is Sam’s garden. What a magical and visual experience. Thank you. Cheers


      Congratulations Sam…. curious about one thing….what CAD package did you use? Rachel is it your own or based on maybe Vector Works or ??

      • Rachel Mathews

        Hi Janine,

        Sam did the CAD, I believe on Vector works, but could be wrong, hopefully, she’ll be able to chime in and tell you!

    • Jacqueline Forbes

      I need a garden designer to come a redesign my garden. I haven’t got the energy to do it myself. Is there anyone out there who would be interested. Thanks.

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