Design Your Own

For people who want a major garden redesign but don’t know where to start, DYO is a suite of visits based on the course that I teach of the same name. Everything is tailored to your garden so you can apply the ‘lessons learned’ directly and create your perfect garden layout.

Expert Advice

With RHS qualifications and many years gardening experience I can solve problems, advise on improving garden layout, suggest suitable plants and explain how to look after them. I also undertake some of the more skilled gardening tasks such as pruning and training shrubs.

Plant Sourcing

It’s great when people are confident to choose plants for themselves but if you lack time or want large or unusual specimens, I can source from suppliers not open to the public. I select each plant and deliver them to your garden. I will even plant them if you lack the time yourself.

Alison photo

About GbD

Gardening by Design was started in 2004 by Alison Marsden to offer a new way to build knowledge of plants and gardening, gain confidence and make your garden into the family space or personal paradise you deserve.

Alison fills the gaps in your horticultural and garden design knowledge so you become a more confident gardener ready to make the most of your garden.  No long term commitment – just all the advice and assistance you need an hour at a time.

Based near Tunbridge Wells advice, classes and workshops are delivered across West Kent and East Sussex.  Support for gardeners further afield is provided by internet, phone and email.

Kent Wildlife Trust    Supporting Kent’s wildlife as a corporate member of Kent Wildlife Trust

“Stop gardening by accident and start Gardening by Design”


What people think of Gardening by Design

Adding summer colour and scent to a garden in Wadhurst
Thank you so much for your help and advice with the garden. It’s looking fabulous already! You’ve made a previously daunting task a pleasurable experience and really got me inspired to make a fantastic garden moving forward.

Making the most of a small garden in Southborough
This is such a fantastic report.  Thank you so much. It makes everything really clear and having the plant guide in the appendices is such a good idea. It all feels very manageable … Have a few days off this week to make a start on some of the suggestions.

Colour scheming borders in Tonbridge
Wow thank you Alison. Very comprehensive notes and I thoroughly enjoyed our ‘walk and talk’ session.   The biggest thing I’ve taken away from our session is the confidence to move around what I already have in the garden.

Fresh ideas for a family garden in Tunbridge Wells
Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Alison Marsden from Gardening By Design. Alison visited our garden recently and has given us much needed advice. The information and ideas discussed on the visit have all been forwarded in a document by email – so useful. I’ve even managed to make a start – helped by some lovely sunshine! Thank you so much Alison