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An interesting read, Elspeth, but there's a confidence-shattering and clumsy error on the first frame of the OCGD video clips (both of them showing here).

Can they really not spell telephone? Errors like that need correcting immediately (at whatever the cost).

OCGD will no doubt be teaching that first impressions count. If I were contemplating exploring what OCGD could offer me, a mistake like this would be a big turn off.

Thanks. You're right. Just testing you ;-) We'll get it corrected asap. Agree that the devil is in the detail - hope you like the bigger picture stuff also.

We would be very interested in anyone's thoughts and experiences on their use of business acumen as a landscaper. And also all feedback welcome (thanks John for the typo - we do think this important).

Oxford College of Garden Design continues to be a centre of excellence and can only evolve based on both the feedback of students and the industry - so all interest in this topic is welcome and will be responded to. Look out for more posts soon..


It's called a Typo! clumsy yes, but hardly confidence-shattering. Anybody sad enough to be influenced by this, wouldn't get onto the course in the first place.

You'll be pleased to know (and at huge expense) this error has now been, or is about to be corrected.

I may be dyslexic, but on the brighter side, at least this doesn't make me a jobsworth!

Having come from business I'd agree with everything Elspeth says above. I think that it's easier to get your first few clients if you are able to manage clients and sell your abilities, which gives an initial advantage to those coming from a business background. However, once both the artists and the business people have a few projects under their belt the cumulative knowledge gained through a longer exposure to the arts must take advantage away from those with business backgrounds.

While some of the pointers in the videos above may seem obvious having read them, they're a very clear checklist that provides a structure to client interaction. Missing one salient piece of information can confuse a client and make them feel uncomfortable, so having a designed process to learn and use is invaluable. Especially as it is one built up from years of experience. As a former business process analyst I'd say that most processes appear obvious once they're spelled out, but that the benefit of having them documented and verifiable is huge.

John, feedback on punctuation or flow would be greatly appreciated(!),



Good point Elspeth - even in the most creative jobs you can't escape some 'office work'.

But I wonder if you could argue that some of the most effective marketing also comes from thinking creatively?

Hi all,

if you look around the business scene you will discover many people that are doing a sort of good job but are brilliant in selling and marketing themselves. They make the money, it does not matter into which field you look.
And there are some that are absolutely excellent in their job but dont have a clue of marketing at all. Those often fail. Only a few become well-known but only if they do something exceptional and extraordinary and maybe find someone who does the business work for them. ( That does not apply for all people, please dont take me wrong, but it is most common for people with own-businesses.)

I come from Marketing, Sports Science and Personal Training, it is the same there.

I am absolutely convinced that good marketing comes from thinking creatively.

I have chosen to study at OCGD because of a) the short time, b) the good reputation, c) because I need a second leg in business- fitness& health is my life, gardens are my passion, and d) because i KNOW that I can do it.

It is amazing to see what people with no special art background are able to produce after a short time of learning! I would say EVERY person is somehow creative, you are not born with style so I am sure you can somehow learn it. It depends on how open you are and on the amount of experience you already got in life, what you have seen, explored etc.

The more important question though is: what does "being creative" mean? You can always argue about style and taste...

So at the end I would say, you are either exceptionally good in what you do- a great designer (very rare!) and maybe have somebody who does market you outside if you can not do it yourself or you will be overtaken by the ones that are good designers but know how to do business.

And business is more than only marketing...being organised, being on-time, being a people-person, being self-confident, having good time-management, liking the internet, knowing about marketing tools such as SEO, PR..., knowing about psychology, being good in doing research, knowing your maket, being a sales person, being able to do office management, knowing about tax and law, being able to balance your own life so business does not take over you, liking challenges, being strong and positive thinking, WORKING HARD etc. etc. so in my opinion, if you miss any of that get a person who is good in it and can help you out.

Somebody once told me: "You dont need to know everything, you should just know where you get the information about it from..."

Best regards, Alex

Please excuse any spelling mistakes, I am not a native english speaker...

Like it Alice. Yes in fact some of the best marketeers I've come across are actually 'creatives'

In such a highly competitive business environment, (lets face it, there are lots of us out there) I've noticed an element of ruthlessness, and motivation is key to a designers success. Having spent a week working with Charlotte Rowe, I can say she doesn't do it by lounging around meditating each move. Its all about getting the business, the articles and getting in first... So, one could argue,no mater the nature of the business, be it retail, IT or art, business is business and dog eat dog I'm afraid - not for the faint hearted.


..... with wall to wall self belief .....

Really enjoyed this topic! As a self-effacing, marketing-phobic artist designer 'by default', it's given me a sharp wake-up call. I'm off to step up the plate, and share this info with others......:-)

very interesting reading a Landscape Architect who is also selling 'products' ......all I can say is you need skills in many areas plus loads of energy to run a business - creativity is in many jobs no matter what field you choose - look at all those IT people inventing new ways of communicating - and maybe a quater of 'at least I tried'

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