Up close and personal with landscaper Mia Marsay

Landscaper Mia Marsay, of Over the Garden Wall, chats about gardening trends, career highlights and what inspires her

What has been the highlight of your career?
Receiving Rand Water’s Water Wise trophy from the South African Landscapers Institute a few years ago.If you weren’t a landscaper what would you be?
An architect’s shadow. By far my best gardens are done in conjunction with clever and original architects. I am also passionate about how to use spaces, so town planning would be next on my list.

Your design style in three words
Natural, balanced, textural.

Top tip for anyone wanting to be a landscaper?
You need to be prepared to work hard and be part of each step of the project. Avoid trying to do something that is beyond your scope of practice, rather get specialists involved.

Your guilty pleasure?
I love watering a client’s garden once everything has been planted – it’s a feeling that really satisfies me.

What current gardening trend is your favourite?
A natural, informal garden style, but where form and structure are still kept, be it in the design of the hard landscaping, building structure or a focal point, such as a pot or sculpture.

What inspires you?
Creative people, nature, including the insects and animals that inhabit the landscape.

If you could do one thing to lift a garden, what would it be?
Plant or create a focal point, using plants, water, a sculpture or pots and containers.

What is your favourite section of your garden?
The veggie garden area, it’s bursting with goodies to eat and so easy to look after!

Which gardening rule needs to be retired?
Digging over flower beds so that the soil looks neat, and having a severe edge between the lawn and the flower beds. Instead, lay a fine mulch over your beds – it looks good, reduces the amount of weeds, and backache is not one of the side effects.