An Olympic Year for Garden Designer, Presenter and Author, Andy Sturgeon

TV presenter, journalist and Garden designer Andy Sturgeon has had a good year. “I’m based in Brighton and I think our weather has been better than in Wales,” he explains, “though it has still been a bit random. Our international work has ramped up this year and we always have different issues working abroad. The contractors are excellent in the UK, for example but not so good overseas.”

Having studied horticulture at The Welsh College of Horticulture in Mold, Andy went on to study interior gardening and tropical planting. “We are working on a big project in ‘Quinta de Largo’, Portugal at the moment. It’s called The Keys, and the 71 new luxury villas are based on the Art Deco themes you would see in Florida. We are doing the landscaping and it’s all quite glamorous. I source all my plants from Italy and Spain and am comfortable working with tropical plants.”  See more at www.thekeysatquinta.com

And the gardening guru predicts more foreign work for the future. “The Olympics have been amazing and really good for us as designers too. Countries without a social history of gardening look to the UK as gardeners, especially garden design, so come to us for design projects. Hong Kong and Russia are getting more important to us, though working in Russia is hard as nothing grows well.”

Before starting his own garden design business, Andy worked for his brother’s landscaping company and then started his own maintenance company. “Doing garden maintenance taught me a lot; you need to understand plants to do the design side. There’s a big difference in gardening and creating a garden. I used to go out armed with Dr Hessayon books and still reference them, there’re really useful.”

But as his business grows, the six-times Chelsea Gold Medal winner does admit his own garden gets neglected. “I can’t find a gardener that meets my standards, so it’s all a bit overgrown. It’s not gardened at all in the spring and summer and suffers from three young boys and a dog. It’s a long thin shady garden so thankfully the grass doesn’t need cutting that often anyway but I also have bindweed. I don’t like using chemicals as I think that indicates you have no regard for the soil, it’s more satisfying to dig it out. It feels fairer somehow.”

Find out more about Andy and his work at www.andysturgeon.com

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*