We get up close and personal with garden designer and author Terri Moller-Welsh


Where did you study?
After a career in marketing I decided to pursue my interest in garden design and horticulture. I became a member of the Royal Horticultural Society which offers their members short courses and training. This opened a whole new world for me. For several years I visited the UK to see the Chelsea Flower Show, visit the Royal Horticultural Gardens and to study with the greats, like John Brookes and Professor David Stevens.

What has been the highlight of your career?
If I have to choose one it would be the publishing of my book The Garden Recipe Book. Struik Publishers approached me and asked me to write a book aimed at both the beginner and experienced gardener. It’s a DIY book providing gardeners with key design principles and recipes that enables them to design their own garden.

Top tip for anyone wanting to be a landscaper?
Passion and imagination form the foundation of all great designs. Landscapers are artists and plants are their tools. Pay attention to how foliage, texture, form and colour combine to create different effects.

Favourite item in your garden right now?
It’s difficult to have just one favourite, can I please have at least two? My favourite item is a bronze statue of a child, a birthday gift from my husband, which makes a statement in the garden.

My second favourite is a grouping of cycads. I bought them when they were small and they have become a great investment. They’re my pride and joy and I love the fact that they will be here long after I have gone.

What inspires you?
I am constantly inspired by South Africa’s top landscape designers, wandering through their gardens sharing ideas and enjoying their creativity. I often encounter my past students, which is wonderful.

What are you working on right now?
My latest project has taken me into the world of social media with the launch of my Facebook and Twitter pages, DIY Garden Designer, which aims to showcase garden design talent and bring you fresh, inspirational garden design ideas, tips and trends.

Who’s your greatest style inspiration?
Bernadine Drath from Landscape Design Studio is a talented and versatile designer whose knowledge and flair in combining plants always leaves me inspired. Sonita Young of Young Landscape Design Studio is an exciting designer who thinks outside of the box. Her designs surprise and delight me.

What’s your indispensable tool/accessory/gadget?
The secateurs is the one garden tool that I just can’t live without. Cutting, pruning, de-heading flowers, encouraging new growth and keeping the plants looking groomed provides me with great pleasure.

What’s your dream project?
My dream project would be an upliftment project and to participate in community based gardening education. I would love to show people how much pleasure gardening will bring to their lives.