Me & My Job: Sarah Naybour, Sarah Naybour Landscape & Garden Design

Sarah Naybour Landscape & Garden Design. Image: Sarah Naybour
Sarah Naybour Landscape & Garden Design. Image: Sarah Naybour

How did you get started? I am a latecomer to horticulture. I basically got into garden design when I eventually got a garden of my own at the age of 40. I used to live in Hong Kong running a business making mosaics. When I moved back to the UK with my husband, the garden we got was blank so I looked into getting a designer before deciding it was something I could do myself. I did my RHS course and the next year I got into the Oxford College of Garden Design.

What does your typical day involve? I get up, get the family breakfast and do a dog walk. Then I make myself a coffee, sit down, read my emails and write a "to do" list, before getting on with designing. I spend my day sourcing materials, researching planting plans and I do a certain amount of marketing as well. At 4pm my family come back and I go back to being mum and housewife again.

What is the best part of your job? Every project is different and every client is different. The sites and budgets are different and for me that produces a creative challenge and that is what I like. The hardest thing would be if someone gave me an unlimited budget and a blank canvass.

And the worst? The worst part is fitting your design to a budget because people don't realise just how much you have to spend to make a garden look beautiful. The gardens you see in magazines are hugely expensive.

How do you relax? I like to keep fit. I have just enrolled to do a London-to-Paris bike ride in the spring. I also like watching films and like to paint and draw. But activity is mainly what makes me relax. I also like a bit of wine and chocolate.

What does the future hold? I have just finished building my first garden and if future clients turn out as happy as my first clients then I will be very happy. I can't say I have major ambitions to build Chelsea show gardens — I just want happy clients.


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