About Us

For the Garden Designs the ‘us’ is actually a me, Janet Dunlop Hawker

willow house 04 - janetI feel all aspects of my adult life contribute to my success as a Garden Designer. A psychology degree helps with understanding people – as being a garden designer is about getting the garden right for the people using it. Working for twelve years as a computer programmer and systems analyst gives crucial skills of detailed analysis and presentation. Over twenty years working on an organic market garden, running a local vegetable box scheme and growing for our own garden use gives me a very practical take on what does and doesn’t work in a garden. And last but not least 20 years plus as a parent (running concurrently!) gives experience of what makes for a successful family garden for ALL members of the family.  Topped by 10 years experience designing gardens since launching Green Matters in 2008.

In March 2016 I was accepted as a full Member into the Garden and Landscape Designers Association (GLDA).   The GLDA has a rigorous requirements to become a full member which include practicing for several years, participating in design workshops and culminating in presenting fully implemented designs to an external panel of external industry designers / professionals.

Recent studies include:

  • Workshops and CPD (Continuous Professional Development) seminars run by the GLDA and the British equivalent, the SGD
  • RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture incorporating Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation and Development & Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
  • Permaculture design with Patrick Whitefield, author and leading authority on permaculture systems in temperate regions (like Ireland and the UK).
  • Forest gardening with Martin Crawford, one of the forerunners in the forest garden establishment and experimentation in the UK.
  • Permaculture & classic garden design courses with ACS Distance Education, a long-established distance learning college. ACS is one of the few colleges specializing in permaculture & organic growing as well as traditional garden design & landscaping.
For implementation of Garden designs I employ specialists as required. I can link up with any experts in general landscaping, stonework & dry stone walling, building natural swimming ponds or whatever you require.