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Last Update: 2009-02-04
When becoming a garden designer, credentials, such as horticultural classes, master gardening classes or any other gardening experience, are important to gain credibility. Build up a clientele to become a successful garden designer with plant tips from a... View Video Transcript
Now garden designers are hired to plan gardens for other people so they'll make a diagram of your garden area and recommend different plants to plant in that area based on what you like and the conversations and whether you have sun or shade and your climate and what's available, and your color scheme, so you'll just meet with a garden designer and they'll help you select the plants and where to plant them. And so it's really the landscapers that actually plant the plants usually the garden designer just makes the plan. So to become a garden designer you have to have some credentials. And you really don't have to have a degree, you don't have to have any experience, you just have to have a love for gardening. But having some kind of a credentials helps a lot. And whether it's taking master gardening classes at your local extension service and learning all about gardening, that gives you credentials right away. Or taking horticultural classes at the community college, you don't have to have a degree. Just a couple of classes helps a lot. And you can even go online, there is so many horticultural classes that you can take online and even become certified in any way from different clubs or organizations or schools. So that you have some kind of a credential. And that way when you do represent yourself then people will think that hey, she knows her stuff, she's a master gardener, she knows her stuff, he knows his stuff, he has a degree in horticulture. He knows his stuff, he helped design the gardens at Busch Gardens or wherever. So even if you can volunteer at a public garden or volunteer at some kind of a public park that has a garden area just to say that you've been part of an organization gives you some credentials. And so when you want to become a garden designer, you need to have clients. And so you can come up with a name for your business and come up with a website and you can come up with business cards and you can just have a booth at a garden show, that's a good way to get customers, because people that go to garden shows have gardens. So just by having a booth at the farmers market or the garden show or even a home show or remodeling show, anywhere where people are going to come that have homes, you can find clients. A lot of times you can post it on Craigslist or you can just put your name and information in a newspaper. But it doesn't matter how you go about it, it's just getting your name out there. So to become a garden designer, you don't really have to have credentials but they help a lot, and just for having a love of gardening and read everything you possibly can read about garden design. You can get the magazine Garden Design, that helps a lot, and you can buy or get books from the library on the subject, and just read up everything that you can. And a lot of times it's great if you're a designer to have some stock plants, just some basic garden plants that you've come up for other clients or you've just come up with on your own. So that way when you approach new clients or you're at a show or you come up with some new ideas for a customer, you have plans already laid out and it makes you look like you know what you're doing. And so always be professional, have business cards, a website and have experience, whether you volunteer for another landscaper or volunteer for another garden designer, that will give you experience as well, and even if you're not hired or don't get paid for it, by volunteering you can get a lot of experience that will make you look good and develop your business.