Clive Anderson

Name: Clive Anderson

Business:  Sakura Garden Design Limited

What you've given up: A successful career in the City

Why you gave it up:  A lifelong ambition to become a garden designer

How you made the transition: Studying the Open Learning Garden Design Diploma  

Please provide a brief bio of ‘life before KLC’ It may sound like a worn out cliché, but in my case, it’s true. I would travel up to London in the morning on the train reading the Financial Times and be drawing designs on my way home in the evening.

Why did you decide to study with KLC? Having reached the stage where I had no mortgage and with my children grown up and flown the nest, I made the decision to ‘go for it’ and researched into which was the best college. I opted for KLC because I felt it gave me the best opportunity to learn in my own time.

How did you choose your course? KLC appeared to be the best option for entering the profession. I didn’t just want a qualification; I wanted to be a professional. I wanted to go as far as my ability would take me. I guess with most students, it’s the plants that attract them into the profession but with me, it was the design element itself. Of course I love plants (particularly trees), but I also love to create and to use space.

What were the highlights of your course? The course gave me the foundation and knowledge to set up my own business so I certainly got what I wanted from KLC. At the time of enrolment, I didn’t know how to use Vectorworks (computer based design) so I designed everything on my draughtsman’s drawing board. It taught me accuracy and technical drawing skills. I also attended a short course at the college during my studies and I’m glad I went down that route too.

What are the challenges? I would suggest to potential students to consider open learning as an option and whilst it suited me and I really enjoyed it, you do have to be very disciplined and fully committed. It can be a long journey as an open learning student. It has its rewards but it is easy to make excuses not to do the work. KLC were very helpful and you can always contact the tutors or go onto the forums.

What are your plans for the business going forward? I have set up my own business (Sakura Garden Design Limited) and my first design will be on my website very soon. I feel it’s important to do things well so I had my website, Company logo, business cards and headed paper/compliment slips, etc. all professionally designed. I intend to do either Hampton Court or Chelsea flower show when I am more established. It really comes down to having a sponsor. Watch this space!  

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