Another Successful Garden Design student garden for you this week – I will pass you over to Ruth to tell you about her wonderful garden…

“I completed your fast-track garden design course in 2020, just prior to moving to our new house in mid Suffolk in February 2021. Our new garden was a blank canvas and I was keen to learn as much as I could before trying to work on a design. I thought you might like to see the results…

But first, a tiny bit of background. I am sure you won’t remember but many years ago (I guess it must have been in the late 90s) you did a design for our garden in Gosfield, which was amazing!

We loved your design and had many admiring comments as we developed the garden over the years. But it was almost an acre in total and we felt the time had come to start afresh with a new, but rather smaller plot.

Our new house stands in about one-third of an acre. It’s an eco-house and is very contemporary in design. The garden is basically L-shaped and sits on two sides of the house.

The first phase of work was done in July/August 2021. This consisted of the erection of a pergola, a base for the greenhouse, finishing the terrace at the rear of the house and putting in a pond next to it, creating a border in front of the lounge window (in the side garden) and other borders along the boundary with the neighbouring property. The second phase of work was completed in April 2022.

As of now (May 2022) there is still quite a bit of bare earth but I’ve tried to allow for space to grow in my planting plans. Thanks to you I have given a lot of thought to leaf shape as well as height and flower colour.

“A big thank you Rachel. Your course taught me so much. I loved the way you put difficult concepts into straightforward language; without it I could never have created this garden. I can’t tell you how much sheer joy it gives me. It’s not finished (when is a garden ever finished?!) but I can’t wait to keep developing it over the coming years. Thank you again.”

Congratulations, Ruth, on applying what you learned in the Fast-Track Garden Design Formula Course so well! You’ve done a brilliant job. I’m so pleased it’s turned out so well and how much more satisfying to have been able to do it yourself. You certainly didn’t need me to design this one! ;o)

If you’d like to do the same course Ruth did, check out the Fast-Track Garden Design Formula here:




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!

    6 replies to "SGD student garden – Ruth from Suffolk"

    • Richard Stevenson

      How fabulous. Loving the “architectural” elements, especially the curving path with differing-height posts. What strikes me though, is that they’ve lost that beautiful peaceful view across the open fields. I get that they can probably see that from the house, but I would have replicated that view from the garden too. Overall though, the garden is starting to have that “classic” feeling about it 🙂

    • wendy

      wow, looks amazing. am totally disoriented looking at the photos though, a pic of the garden design plan would be useful to see how all the spaces relate and to see the shapes that she created. what an inspiration though.

      • Rachel Mathews

        Hi Wendy,

        Unfortunately, Ruth didn’t send us the plan to show. But if you look at the backgrounds of each image you should be able to line up where things are, I’ve tried to put them in the right order to show the garden.


      Great transformation

    • Brian

      How much does it costs to get started in ythe course?

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