The seeds for Sarah Jardine’s career as a landscape designer were planted many years ago and now she is reaping the rewards. Sarah is winning at major national competitions and running a thriving small business while completing her studies towards the Certificate IV in Landscape Design at Melbourne Polytechnic.
“My father was a gardener and horticulturalist and so when I was really young I went around with him in the garden,” Sarah explained.
“My first job was a commercial artist. I’ve been a graphic artist right through then in the last few years I did an interior design course online. I came to do my neighbour’s garden, tidied it up, and I loved it.”
At first Sarah didn't think it possible to have a career in garden design without having to do the maintenance too, but a magazine article about how there was a need for more females in the industry led to a chat with renowned landscape designer Fiona Brockhoff, who inspired Sarah to focus on her dream.
Sarah said she wanted to combine the design side of creativity with the gardening and “it all came together, ever since then I’ve thought this is what I want to do”.
Supported by Melbourne Polytechnic, she entered this year’s Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, taking out the Award of Excellence in the Avenue of Achievable Gardens competition with her Wonder Wall installation.
And while still studying, she has launched her own business, Garden Design by Sarah.
The Certificate IV in Landscape Design course runs for two years part time at the Fairfield campus, but Sarah says she is sad to be nearly done.
“It’s so good, you’re mixing with people who love plants, and love design, it’s just fantastic, there’s always someone there who you can ask a question or just have a chat to,” she said.
“I like finding out how people are going with their jobs, some people are landscaping at the moment and have been doing it for a while and want to get a qualification. They’re out in the field and know what works, they’re a great group of people.”
She recommends the course to others, particularly people like herself looking for a career change.
“I think the enthusiasm of the teachers is enormous and then there are certain subjects that stand out more than others but for a part-time course it’s pretty thorough,” she said.
“Going to those classes now with people of the same mindset and enthusiastic teachers is fabulous.”
“It really suits people who are working and people who want to try a different career.”
So has she found her place now?
“Absolutely,” Sarah said. “I wish that I’d done it earlier, I can’t imagine having another career change.”
If you'd like to have a chat about what is involved when undertaking the Certificate IV in Landscape Design, take a look at the course here and give us a call.
Image: Sarah Jardine with Ash Cook
Interview / Photo Opportunity
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