A Garden Designer’s Designer

Richard Ambrose teaches the principles of web design to Garden Design students in 2018This year I was invited to teach web design at renowned horticultural college, Capel Manor.

I had no hesitation in accepting, when approached by client, RHS Gold Medal Winner and former Capel Manor graduate, Julian Tatlock, to deliver this.

For those who don’t know, within the horticultural arena, Capel Manor College has earned a reputation for it’s specialist ‘land based’ courses. Best known for landscape garden design, more recently they have diversified into providing courses in related areas such as arboriculture, floristry, animal management and even saddlery.

Course Aim

As part of the Garden Design and Plantmanship Degree, I was responsible for writing and delivering the web design module. The aim was to equip the undergraduates, with as much relevant information as possible, on what is required to build an effective website.

The degree itself prepares students to launch a new career, running their own landscape garden design businesses. As such, becoming skilled at selecting, and getting the most out of, a web design agency will be useful knowledge to have.

Outsourcing specialist work, such as web design, was second nature to the mature students. Garden design projects usually require project managing others to deliver the vision. Also, most students had ran teams or a business previously, so recognised the value of outsourcing.

The course helped me to consider areas
I wouldn’t have before”
~ Fiona

Topics Included: Building Your Brand; Website Goals; Tech You Need to Know; Usability Principles; Fads & Innovations; Content Ideas; Getting Your Site Found; Legal Compliance.

Presenting Garden Design Online

Specific industries, share common characteristics and place different emphasis on key elements, when creating an online presence. Garden design is no exception.

Naming a Landscape Garden Design Business

For a garden maintenance company the choice is broad. For creative businesses, including Landscape Garden Design, you are buying into the founder’s style and vision. Unless there’s a good reason, use your own name.

Logo for a Creative Business

Keep it simple. Present your name clearly and professionally, so people start to remember it. Think carefully before adding a cheesy image of a spade or plant pot.

Website Style

Restrained and minimalist, so images have enough white space to ‘breathe’, and does not detract from it’s content.

Website Content

Primarily, visitors want to see your work. Avoid ‘image dumps’. Be selective. Critique inspiring work of others (but get permission).

The Trouble with Many Garden Design Websites

Portfolios that are awkward to navigate and poorly categorised. So prospective clients struggle to visualise what’s possible for their garden. How quickly can you find and show relevant work on your phone ? It’s a great tool, when meeting existing or prospective clients.

Get Stunning Visuals

And finally, don’t scrimp on photo quality. Take far more photos than you need. Get into photography or find someone who is, that you can work with. Consider 360° virtual tours and the use of 3D renderings.

2018-07-20T07:27:28+00:00Jun 22, 2018|Garden Design|