Until consumer confidence in the economy returns, garden designers say they are uncertain when work in the sector will pick up.
Former Society of Garden Designers chairman Andrew Fisher Tomlin said: "The uncertainty over the past six months has stopped people making decisions. Middle-income purchases of garden design have dropped. Now it is all about consumer confidence and the jury is out on that."
He added: "Orders with us have been better than the past two years because of recommendations and repeat business. There is a little bit more confidence from some people because they have got through this year, but it is fragile."
The society's vice chair Amanda Patton said clients had typically cut projects from £30,000 to the £15,000-£20,000 range, but wanted to keep the same specification by using bigger areas of cheap materials such as lawn. "The spending review is a worry and people have been having to work harder to get clients," she explained.
She added that the economic downturn had not impacted as much as expected over the past year but clients were demanding better customer service and a complete job rather than just ideas, consultation or concept design.