A selection of garden design testimonials from my clients

Contemporary Country Garden in Edenbridge.

Our 450-year-old house came with a tired and largely derelict garden; one with little charm, a constrained drive and a limited outlook.

We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have found Sara through her website. Right from the initial design meeting we had confidence that we had made a good choice. We then became very willing travellers alongside Sara’s very clear and sophisticated vision; one that varied little from the initial sketch plans to the final delivery drawings and planting plans.

Sara then lead and managed the selection of a landscape contractor, and a number of specialist suppliers, all of whom performed extremely well and enthusiastically. Sara procured all of the plants and arranged and led the planting program at the appropriate seasons. Sara also provided maintenance and plant care manuals set out month by month for a full gardening year and helped us find a skillful gardener who remains with us. Sara continues to help with ongoing advice and small changes.

Sara’s approach is highly professional, extremely skillful, and imaginatively innovative, giving clients complete confidence in her ability to deliver an entirely satisfactory outcome.

In the whole process Sara skillfully took us beyond our own expectations, leading us to a much better outcome than we could have anticipated. We now have a marvelous garden that we enjoy thoroughly, and one for which passers-by stop, photograph and pay great compliments.

Contemporary Town Garden in Tunbridge Wells.

Just to say again – a huge, huge thank you. We adore the garden! It has been so lovely seeing all the plants grow so much over the last few weeks. The garden is looking gorgeous – we really love it, and it has been great being able to enjoy it so much over the last couple of months. You must come and see how it all looks once lockdown is over.

Contemporary Barn Garden in Penshurst.

‘We loved working with Sara! We bought a house with fabulous views but a rather neglected and dated looking garden. Sara produced a wonderful design. Creating a new courtyard garden and new planting schemes for the existing beds including herb borders along the side of the house. The planting schemes incorporate structure and softness with a contemporary feel using a variety of grasses, verbena, alliums, stachys, hebes and cherry trees. It has been transformational and we can’t wait to see it all grow and mature.’

Small Courtyard Garden in Tunbridge Wells.

‘Sara was a fantastic find! She has transformed our tiny courtyard garden from a thorny problem area into a lovely space that we want to spend all our time in. The whole design process was a pleasure and Sara’ s design and planting plan are a work of art! She has an expert eye and created a garden that fits perfectly with the setting and old surrounding walls. Colour images of the plants she recommended were provided too which was helpful. We were also delighted with the hard landscaping company recommended by Sara – the whole project went very smoothly. Definitely worth every penny!  Thank you Sara.’

Contemporary Country Garden, Langton Green.

‘We had to wait patiently for Sara to be free to help us with a change to our garden and she was definitely worth waiting for.

Sara has designed a wonderful re-imagined garden with changes to the hard landscaping, in this case the terrace, to give a new aspect to the Kitchen Garden and a face lift for the greenhouse. With all new planting to the newly created borders as well as the existing ones throughout the rest of the garden it was, for us, a significant project. Sara’s approach has been one of great enthusiasm, creativity, professionalism and an abundance of patience. Every part of the project has been enjoyable from the design, through the build and finally the planting. The result has exceeded our expectations and we enjoy the fruits of Sara’s labour every single day. We are very thankful and happily have a little bit more to do.’

Barn Garden in Kingston Canterbury.

‘We moved to a house with a challenging, steeply sloping, back garden which had never been properly landscaped or cultivated. Sara was positive and enthusiastic from the beginning which provided us with some reassurance! She listened carefully to our own ideas and suggested plenty of others for our consideration.

We were able to supply a list of favourite plants, many of which Sara incorporated into her design, along with others which were new to us. There were regular consultations and discussions – the plans presented were beautifully drawn and really helped us to visualise what the finished garden would look like.

Sara is easy going, friendly and professional. We always felt able to ask questions and she was patient and understanding when we wanted to make a few changes along the way. We now have a beautifully landscaped, totally transformed rear garden with terracing, gravel paths and thriving flowering plants which provide year long colour and interest. It’s an absolute pleasure to wander around the garden this spring and spend time just sitting and admiring it all!

We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Sara to anyone considering a garden design project.”

Cottage Garden in Leigh.

‘We had bought a Victorian cottage in a lovely village. The house and garden all needed restoring to its former glory! We saw Sara’s website when we were looking for someone to design our garden and we loved the look of everything she had done.

We wanted to recreate a cottage garden and she came up with some wonderful ideas about all the old fashioned plants that there are for that sort of garden. Sara is highly professional and has a lovely way about her. She came up with a fantastic garden plan which in itself was a work of art. She was an absolute joy to work with and we are absolutely delighted with our garden, as are very many people in our village who lean over the garden fence and enthuse about how beautiful our garden looks!

We could not recommend her more highly and we are so glad we chose her.’

​Courtyard Garden in Southfields London.

‘It was such a delight to work with Sara. Not only did she understand our style and the type of flowers we wanted but she also helped us to keep to our budget.

She has created an incredible sculptured garden which has been so admired by all who have seen it. She has a great talent with plants and colour and we look forward to enjoying our garden for many years to come.’

Cottage Garden in Yalding.

‘Sara has created the kind of garden we wanted but couldn’t imagine. She’s great to work with, clearly explained the process and walked the journey with us and even put up with us changing our minds.

She managed the project from start to finish, helping us find a great landscape contractor and ensured that everything went as it should. A really enjoyable and exciting experience. We’re so grateful.’

Country Garden in Penshurst.

‘Sara’s practical design flair helped us transform something of an eyesore into a beautiful and tranquil corner of the garden.’

​Courtyard Garden in Chiswick London.

‘Sara designed and oversaw, from the soil upwards, the installation of my long desired courtyard garden in Chiswick which now attracts praise from all who step in it.

I found her to be a delightfully sunny, intelligent and professional person to work with who patiently drew out what exactly it was that would make a stunning garden for me personally and filled the many gaps in my vision with lovely, classy ideas. All the consultation I needed was swiftly followed by stylish drawings and a planting storyboard to think about before the work got underway.

Not only is Sara full of talent and motivation but she also manages, in her good natured way, to execute the sometimes delicate trick of ensuring landscapers fufil their brief to the highest standards.

I recommend her to anyone longing for an enduringly beautiful garden but unsure how to create themselves.’

​Formal Country Garden in Hawkhurst.

‘We built an extension to our traditional old Kent style house which involved moving the drive and the approach to the house. The challenge was to make an attractive entrance via a downhill grassy slope towards the house.

We saw several garden designers and discussed their ideas but it was Sara who came up with the plan to introduce a parterre courtyard that not only solved the problems we had but also gave us the most appropriate and best design for both us and the garden. This was complimented by a second terrace with a herb parterre flowing into a york stone terrace with a vine covered pergola alongside the kitchen.

The whole design with walls, box hedging, brick pavers and wide york stone steps with attractive tile on edge detail is completely in sympathy with the style of the house and, even after some years, we still enjoy the approach as do many of our guests.

Sara was always available throughout the project and could not have been more helpful or professional.’

​Country Garden in Speldhurst.

‘We are in the throes of constructing a new house on an old garden plot which has been neglected for many years. I asked Sara to help me as she had done exactly that with another client and when I saw her work I was captivated. Our brief to the builder and to Sara was to design a house and garden that looked as though it had been there for many years, but was easy to maintain and incorporated some modern design ideas that could be achieved using traditional materials. She understood exactly what I wanted and has designed various areas in our garden incorporating some of my own ideas as well. She has drawn the plans beautifully and in such detail that I can immediately see the vision. She has been open to change and helpful where needed with advice and contacts.

We have built a very large pond utilising rainwater harvesting and Sara has worked with the pond builder to plant complementary schemes that work with the pond area and yet fit in with the garden design. Her ability to visualise what to plant to complement the current tree planting and how to enhance it has resulted in a plan that will enable us to achieve an outside space to enjoy at all times of the day and throughout the seasons with pathways winding through areas we want to leave wild. Her skills are not limited to planting, but also to hard landscaping where she has a vision on what materials compliment each other and how to flow from one area of the garden to the next even though the areas may be quite different. We are thrilled with what she has planned and cannot wait for it all to reach fruition when our house is complete!’

​Country Garden in Weald.

Over the past ten years Sara has created some really thoughtful, beautiful areas in my garden. She is a lovely person to deal with and has a great knowledge base of plants and the habitats that suit them best. She listens carefully to what you want to achieve and creates it. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Sara to anyone wanting to create a beautiful garden.

Seaside Garden in Cornwall.

We asked Sara to design our garden at our house by the sea in Cornwall. She designed and created a beautiful, peaceful, tranquil and fragrant garden which was also very practical and functional. We were both extremely pleased with the final garden. It is the opposite to our garden in Kent being much smaller and compact and needing completely different planting for the conditions by the sea which Sara embraced in her design and planting. Sara also used lots of local materials in the construction of the garden and it’s a real joy to sit in such a well planned and beautiful space.

​Formal Country Garden in Knockholt.

Some eight years ago Sara designed a garden from scratch around our new home converting what was a paddock into a beautiful 2 acre garden. Herbaceous borders, kitchen garden, herb garden, naturalistic pond, tree lined driveway, hornbeam and yew hedging, colour, form and structure abound making it a wonderful space to pass away the day. Sara was a pleasure to work with even though she’s annoyingly good at tennis!

​Contemporary Country Garden in Penshurst.

‘We were looking for a new border fronting the old part of our house to be in character with our 18th century property.

Sara produced a wonderful design of three separate borders divided by wide brick paths and steps. Her detailed plans and drawings made the design come to life. She sourced landscape contractors and the construction was done to a high standard by people we trusted. The planting was carried out efficiently by Sara.

What we like most about Sara is her personal touch; she has returned many times to see the garden and to ensure everything is growing and progressing as it should be.

Barn Garden in Kent.

Sara listened to my brief and obtained a good understanding of what I expected, before producing a design which both suited my garden and incorporated all my wishes. The quality of the drawings and the attention to detail proved how creative and professional she is. I am delighted with the result, which is now a beautiful garden with clearly defined ‘rooms’. I get great pleasure from the garden even in the middle of winter due to the structure and architectural interest of the plants. Sara was a pleasure to work with and I am very happy to recommend her work.

Copyright: Sara Barraud | Mobile: 07771 611566 | Email: sarabarraud1@gmail.com |  Penshurst, Tonbridge, Kent.
Sara provides Garden Design services throughout Kent and the South East including London and surrounding areas.