Young designer Tony Woods advises working with builders at early stages of design

Young garden designer of the year Tony Woods says getting in early with builders to plan domestic garden contracts can stop the "pulling your hair out" feeling when designers have to sort out poorly made new plots.

Woods: has cutting-edge ideas
Woods: has cutting-edge ideas

Woods, who won the RHS award at Tatton Park last week, said: "There's a gap in the market. You pull hair out when you see a builder doing what a landscaper should do."

He said drawing up plans for builders to implement meant elements such as soil depth were right, and he can then work on planting and design and follow-up maintenance jobs.

Woods, 27, who has studied at Newton Rigg and Myerscough colleges, and worked at Larch Cottage Nurseries and Ginkgo Landscapes, now runs Garden Club London, focusing on planting design and boasting interior designer Kelly Hoppen among its clients.

He said the award will "give me confidence to sell my cutting edge ideas to clients".

Woods said he wanted to promote horticulture careers by talking about the range of jobs available, emphasising how he works half of each day designing on his computer.

He said new entrants need better-supported apprenticeships: "Don't throw young people in the deep end working outside on a cold nursery for six months with people 20 years older than them. Let them develop by moving around. Someone who is bad at planting might be a genius at landscaping."

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