Claudia is a garden consultant/designer with a passion for gardening with wildlife in mind, using water as a feature whenever possible. She takes great pride in hand-selecting artisan and natural products for the gardens she is involved in creating. Claudia has also recently launched an online shop called Little Garden Shop, which features many bespoke, handmade & unusual products for the avid gardener.

1. What attracted you to becoming a garden designer and where do you get your inspiration?

I came to the profession late in life, not having trained but with a passion for plants and design. When the gardener next door to our cottage, asked if I was interested in helping his friend design a show garden at Hampton Court Flower Show, after showing him my garden, I said – why not !

From those early days, I learnt so much on the job and have always made a point of understanding every aspect of the build, from driving a digger to building a wall. I am inspired by the natural landscape and countryside, which has helped develop my very organic and romantic style.

2. What makes a good garden design?

A good garden design encompasses lots of different elements making sure the ‘bones’ of the garden has a balance created between practicality and beauty from the hard landscaping through to the soft landscaping.

3. What should a customer expect from a garden designer?

Most garden designers offer a wide range of services which will suit each client’s requirements and all will have their own preferred method of working. Some will work on a design-only basis and would usually help with the appointment of a landscape contractor whilst others may be part of a design-build company so will undertake both the design and construction services.

A garden designer will work to a brief which would be the result of a site visit and consultation with the client. The brief covers lots of questions such as how you wish to use your garden, key features & even screening out unwanted views. It is a good idea at the time of the meeting to have any images of styles, plants, likes and dislikes ready to present to the designer to start things off -

The next step would be to decide the level of input you require from the designer/landscaper, whether it’s outline plans, topographical survey, full construction drawings for the hard landscaping and garden build, planting plans, detailed specification, tendering and project monitoring – the above will more often than not be dictated by your budget. Most designers charge for this initial visit so check this before committing.

4. How do you choose which plants and hard landscaping to use?

The choice of hard landscaping would be selected by the surrounding space/area, local stone for example and house design, construction and style. I would be very careful not to have too many variations to avoid ‘clashes’ in finishes and textures. The planting will be chosen to suit soil type, position and most importantly what the clients like, not forgetting maintenance – Again, budget is also a factor as mature plants, shrubs & trees can be rather costly.

5. What industry figures do you admire and why?

There are many people within the industry I admire including Dan Pearson Carol Klein and Arne Maynard for their passion for plants, garden advice and style of planting. I also admire many of our country’s head gardeners looking after some our precious estates and homes.

Contact Claudia De Yong


Phone: 07881 622 825