The Society of Garden Designers

Discussion for members and potential members of SGD. Please feel free to discuss every aspect of membership including fee structure, training and benefits etc.

Members: 238
Latest Activity: Jul 27

Comment Wall

Comment by Janine Pattison on May 4, 2009 at 12:40
Hello All
I will be working on the SGD stand at Chelsea again this year. I will be there on Tuesday 19th. If you are there, do call in and say Hello.
I'm looking forward to seeing how the show will cope with the current economic climate. There are fewer show gardens than previous years but the details I have seen of the ones being built look fantastic. Perhaps more quality, less quantity?

Comment by Jonathan Hall on May 5, 2009 at 21:26
Hope you have a great time at Chelsea Janine. I shall not be going this year for the first time in about 20 odd years. It would be great to get some debates going on here about the SGD! Where do we start?
Comment by Canalturndesigner on October 1, 2009 at 13:50
I'll start by asking any registered members of the SGD - what in your honest opion benefits you by being able to put MSGD after your name? Is it worth the time and effort going down the adjudication road to achieve registered membership and can you honestly say that you have gained more business (prestigious or otherwise) from it and been able to charge more in design fees by doing so? I am attending a Forum for Adjudication in mid-November. Your replies would be both helpful and interesting.
Comment by Charlotte Noar on January 5, 2010 at 15:44
Hi Canalturnerdesigner,

I've just logged in to LJN after a very long absence and have just added myself to this group. As someone who has very recently become a fully fledged Registered Member of the Society I thought I would just drop you a line back.

From my own personal point of view I joined the Society for a number of reasons. One of these is that I work for myself, by myself as a designer and this can be very solitary. Even if business is going well you don't necessarily have a benchmark to work by and sometimes feel as though you're operating in a vacuum, so to go through the process of adjudication and actually get constructive feedback/criticism of your work is hugely rewarding and I found it very beneficial. It also encourages you to work to a certain standard and not let these standards slip!

In terms of what you gain by being a Member I feel there are all sorts of benefits. Garden Design is still a fairly new profession compared to Interior Design and Architecture, and the Society aims to promote high standards in an industry where there are a lot of untrained/poorly trained people practicing. Therefore it sets you apart from and in some cases above a lot of other designers who aren't Registered and enables potential new clients to have confidence in you.

There is a lot of help available as a Member, such as advice on fees, terms and conditions etc, and also lots of Seminars, Conferences and events for which Members get preferential rates.

All Members are also listed on the SGD website where members of the public can search for a designer - I joined in September and already have one new client from the website. This is obviously a huge benefit, since as a Member you benefit from any PR/marketing that the Society does.

I hope this is a little bit of help! Please feel free to get in touch if you'd like to ask more.

Comment by Sarah Naybour on February 13, 2010 at 11:06
I think this is all good. I was luck enough to do a course that trained us thoroughly and demanded a very high standard (OCGD), but this is often not the case. Perhaps there should be more pressure on courses to provide proper training rather than relying on the SGD to patch up afterwards. Becoming a Member of SGD is certainly a good way to go and I intend to go through the process once I have enough projects under my belt.
Comment by Sarah Naybour on February 13, 2010 at 11:37
All good.
Comment by Camilla Hiley on February 25, 2010 at 19:06
Just to say thank you to Janine for organising the 'Elements of Excellence' workshop with Mark Gregory today. Very informative and plenty of food for thought.
Comment by James Todman on February 26, 2010 at 8:19

Should just introduce myself to the group. I'm studying garden design at Pershore College- nearly half way through a 2 year course.

I've been wanting to join a professional organisation as a student and not sure whether to join SGD or BALI, or join both if it is considered a real benefit to my future career.

Been chatting to some designers on twitter about it and have been getting a very negative feedback about SGD- especially after reading this blog post that someone directed to me-

Is there any truth to this feedback or do you think joining SGD as a student will be a real benefit?
Comment by Jennifer Mitchell on January 1, 2011 at 10:28


I have 2 questions...

What is BALI?

Can I join SGD as a friend if I live in South Africa, but am planning to move to the UK in 2012?

Oh, and does anyone know how much it costs?


Comment by Steve Rice on January 3, 2011 at 10:48

Hi Jennifer,


BALI = British Association of Landscape Industries.  It has categories for landscaping contractors and designers (see: )


SGD certainly claims to have international memberships, but I'm not sure of the details / restrictions or whether the costs differ to those of UK members.  Best you take a look at the website (see: ), and follow the "Join the SGD" link to get the pack emailed to you and/or use the "contact us" button to email the admin office about your specific situation.

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