Below you’ll find some questions we regularly get asked about garden design and the range of services we provide.

Is a wildlife-friendly garden untidy?

Much of the advice around making your garden attractive to wildlife talks about leaving areas a little less tidy, as this tends to create the cover that larger wildlife prefer, and creates the conditions for the food that they eat. Even if you have an out of the way corner set aside, this will improve conditions for wildlife.

However, lots of gardeners prefer an immaculate outside space – with not a leaf out of place. The good news is that manicured gardens don’t have to be devoid of wildlife – having a wide variety of plants and flowers will attract pollinators, and installing feeders or attractive wildlife ‘hotels’ can be beneficial for lots of different visitors.

Can a wildlife-friendly garden be child and pet -friendly too?

Absolutely. Exploring the bugs and plants in a garden can help to ignite a life-long love of the outdoors in children. Being free to explore imaginative and messy play can be hugely beneficial to development, and a garden which is designed to withstand a little wear and tear – and messiness – is better for both wildlife and children.

Pets and wildlife can work in harmony together, and there are lots of sturdy plants that won’t be destroyed by a little exploratory digging or bone-burying. If you need to keep areas separate, then it’s entirely possible to design-in attractive but inconspicuous fencing.

Do you need qualifications to practice as a Garden Designer?

It is not currently mandatory to have training in order to practice as a garden designer. However, this is a field that is increasingly expert, with professional bodies such as the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) providing accreditation services.

Our Designer Kate Charles is a pre-registered member of the Society and works hard to not only meet, but exceed their standards.

Kate Charles Garden Design places great importance on appropriate qualifications. Kate holds a Diploma in Garden Design from Pershore College, and graduated with Distinction. She also holds an RHS Level 2 in Practical Horticulture. She has trained in 3d Design and Photoshop, and uses these to produce her designs. She regularly engages in Professional Development training, and aims to always have the latest horticultural knowledge to share with clients.

Isn’t a design very expensive?

It is possible to obtain designs at a low cost; however, Garden Designers should be trained professionals offering a very high level of service, and charging accordingly. Garden Design involves several different disciplines, from design principles, to colour theory, construction standards, horticultural science, and plant knowledge. Kate is passionate about creating amazing gardens for clients and supporting them through the whole process.

A good comparison is to think of a landscaped garden as equivalent to a new kitchen

It is important to have a realistic budget in order to have your garden reach its full potential. Landscaping costs vary from a few thousand pounds for a properly laid patio, to tens or even hundreds of thousands for large projects.

Kate Charles Garden Design will be able to advise you on how to achieve your aims on even a tight budget, using inexpensive materials or a simple but effective design.

What’s the difference between a garden designer, a landscaper and a gardener?

Garden Designers produce designs, plans and schedules for domestic green spaces that Landscapers can use in construction, and that Gardeners can use to maintain those spaces. The field is distinct from Landscape Architecture which is generally concerned with larger, more public-facing green spaces such as parks.

Kate Charles Garden Design produce designs but do not currently carry out landscaping work. We can help you find and engage a suitable landscaper and provide support and advice throughout the process. We can also monitor the build, making regular site visits and alert you to any potential issues.