Proofreader meets… Garden Designer

As part of my marketing strategy to promote my proofreading, copywriting & blogging business, I spend some of my time networking. As a result, I have met some wonderful people working in all sorts of businesses. With my innate interest in “all things business” I invited Cathy Cornish, Garden Designer from Wild to Wonderful, to tell me her business story. Here it is…

Cathy Cornish, Garden Designer
Cathy Cornish, Garden Designer

Cathy Cornish set up Wild to Wonderful in 2004 to support clients wanting to take control of their gardens. Gardens are personal spaces; they are part of people’s homes. Cathy wanted to make a difference to people’s personal lives through her love of gardening.

Tell me about Cathy

Cathy has always felt at home in the garden; this is where she goes to think, to relax, to come up with her best gardening ideas. She loves the garden’s calming effects; she’s at her happiest and most inspired when she’s planting up a flowerbed… neatening lawn edges… pinching perennials…

Planting for a client
Planting for a client

Growing up around her mother, also a keen gardener, Cathy learned a lot about how the simple yet practical techniques of gardening could reap wonderful, natural rewards. She understood the connection between how trees and shrubs could provide colour and shade, but also shelter for birds and wildlife. Another inspirational lady was Cathy’s late Godmother who was totally in tune with nature; this special relationship set the path towards Cathy’s decision to enter the gardening profession.

As Cathy got older, her admiration for the much loved Alan Titchmarsh further fuelled her love of the outdoors. When Cathy got her own home and – crucially – her own garden, she started her gardening career. She embarked on her RHS horticultural certificates and additional garden design training, in order to supplement her already well-grounded gardening instincts. The design training and knowledge of horticultural disciplines squared the circle; she now had specific knowledge combined with her own natural instinct to offer down-to-earth and practical advice to her clients.

Presenting design plans
Presenting design plans

Renowned garden designers such as John Brookes and – more recently – Andy Sturgeon and Cleve West have also influenced Cathy’s gardening career, with their natural exhibits at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. They are a constant source of originality for Cathy, and a wonderful way to keep updated on gardening trends, new materials and techniques.

Planning and Planting

Gardening advice
Gardening advice

Cathy’s garden design service is about adding value to the garden so it can reach its full potential, based on the needs of the people living in the home. She listens to the client’s needs and aspirations for their garden, and offers practical, attractive solutions. She then prepares a design plan, together with a vision of what the garden would look like.

When it comes to putting the vision into practice, Cathy likes nothing more than getting her “hands dirty”. She does the gardening herself, but she also loves to garden with her clients if they would like to be involved. This involvement might take the form of shrub-shopping with Cathy, setting up a flowerbed, cutting back spring bulbs, planting the seeds or learning how to maintain the garden once the project is complete.

Plant shopping
Plant shopping

The key to Cathy’s service is that it’s entirely flexible and within the client’s control. The garden may have got out of hand, or it simply might be in need of a spring or autumn tidy… Cathy can design a plan to suit all or just the one part of the garden that’s in need of attention, to bring it back under control.

Stroll through Cathy’s Garden…

Cathy Cornish will be designing the Welcome Garden at the main entrance of the Craft & Design Fair at the Henley Show Ground, near Hambleden, 21st-23rd June 2013. The welcome garden will illustrate how specific outdoor areas can be structured around the differing needs of the garden’s owners. There will be a formal entertaining area, a relaxing area with wildlife habitats and a woodland style garden.

Cathy’s garden illustration will show which plants can still thrive in difficult areas, such as under shady trees, and how she supports nature and can create habitats for wildlife, including the bees which are intrinsically important to flowering plants. This is an ideal opportunity to check out Cathy’s portfolio and to chat with her informally about your gardening dreams.

If you would like to know more about how Cathy at Wild to Wonderful can help you realise the full potential of your ideas for your garden, whatever your budget, visit, email or call her on 01235 835664 to talk about how she can create the best garden for you.

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Photography: Shannon Lee Robinson

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Lindsay McLoughlin has a love affair with social media. She combines these tools to great effect with her other big love – blogging! She runs a copywriting, blogging, editing and proofreading service at She loves talking to and interacting with anyone that will “listen” over social media. Check out her blog at or connect with her on social media. She’d be delighted!

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