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I am Sarah Ashworth. I am a fully trained gardener and garden designer. When it comes to working out what you want from your garden I am straight forward and down to earth. I have a background in science (zoology and botany) and technology (digital imaging for natural history collections). But I am really much happier being outdoors and being creative. In 2005, after spending my life gardening for a hobby, I gave up scientific papers and microscopes to formally retrain in gardening and garden design.
I studied Garden Design at Plumpton College, Sussex and I graduated with a distinction. Alongside this, I studied RHS horticulture level 2 and 3 to give me the formal gardening foundation required of a good designer. To fund my course I found work with a number of landscape gardening companies, which gave me essential experience of working in the trade and day-to-day reminders of what makes a good (and a bad) garden. For this reason I still work 3 half days a week gardening today, even over the winter. And I never under-estimate the mental and physical health benefits.
Garden Design Work When my course ended my tutor and garden designer Nigel Phillips (www.nigelphilips.co.uk) offered me a job. I worked for Nigel 3 days a week for almost 3 years, during that time I also worked for 2 days a week in my own garden maintenance partnership “The Constant Gardener”. This provided more valuable experience of running my own business and generated some design and planting design jobs which allowed me to begin building my own portfolio.
Apprenticeship Working in the Nigel Philips Garden Design office I was like an apprentice. Nigel would always include me on the design process, asking my opinion to encourage me to think critically about his designs. Importantly I learned about the pace, progress and pitfalls of large garden and landscape designs from pencil and paper to actual build.
I started working as “Sarah Ashworth Garden Design” in 2012, and since then I have designed gardens and have them built mostly by Richard Arnott. He is very well established in the Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire area and having built up a good reputation, attracts interesting work. With a surplus of work and complimentary skills I have been lucky enough to design several gardens for him.