Penny Litchfield Gardens

I set up my garden design business in 2000 after contemplating a career change and realising that I could use my existing skills in a new setting, changing what I do as well as giving me a different lifestyle. I realised that, in my previous career organising and staging conferences and events, I especially loved getting to know my clients to uncover the spirit they wished to convey before designing settings and creating impressions and atmospheres to match. With a genuine interest in people, strong listening skills, a love of colour, texture and form as well as an understanding of how shapes work together, designing gardens was a logical next step. I still draw on my early training - and the skills I developed in my previous career - as many of them are essential elements of good garden design.

I first trained at the Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, taking a foundation course in sculpture, painting and photography followed by a two-year photographic diploma.