Me & My Job - Stuart Charles Towner, garden designer, Hambrooks

Stuart Charles Towner, garden designer, Hambrooks - image: Hamnrooks
Stuart Charles Towner, garden designer, Hambrooks - image: Hamnrooks

How did you get started in the industry? Before Hambrooks I was at a local garden centre - Keydell Nurseries in Horndean, Hampshire - and I was doing a HNC at Sparsholt College while I was there. I decided I wanted to move on so I got the job at Hambrooks, where I've been for six-and-a-half years.

What advice would you give to others starting out? Go with your instincts and stay true to your principles. For me, it's about things you love bringing in - Gertrude Jekyll planting style, the arts and crafts movement and Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. That leads to original design and sits in context with your garden.

What is the best aspect of your job? Designing gardens for clients and getting that client satisfaction out of it for small or large gardens. I like being in control of the full package, from first meeting to build. As a designer you're involved the whole way.

And the worst? My beef is that garden designers don't get the respect they deserve and pushing education is the key thing for the future. There are minimum standards for registered architects and doctors, and good designers should move that way to give a bigger understanding to the profession.

What does your typical job involve? Our average garden is £15,000 and we're very busy this year. There was an explosion of work in March. The weather was on the turn and the recession is over. I started six years ago just before the recession and things are now getting back to that level. We've had a good pay rise. I recently designed the £13,000 Halo garden at Hampton Court.

What does the future hold? Finishing my degree. You can never stop learning.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next



A graceful habit, attractive foliage and often fragrant flowers are all selling points, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Business planning - Planning for uncertainty

Business planning - Planning for uncertainty

Planning, organisation and discipline are all areas where horticulture firms can take lessons from the military, says Neville Stein.

Weed control: effective management

Weed control: effective management

Control is needed in urban areas as well as on sports turf and nursery sites. Sally Drury looks at the best ways to manage weeds as well as costs.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Horticulture Week Top 50 Landscape and maintenance contractors

See our exclusive ranking of landscape and maintenance contractors by annual turnover. 


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources