Debbie Carroll – Profile

Step Change Design - Debbie CarrollI began gardening from an early age and have always had a passion for nature, wildlife, plants and art. Debbie Carroll Garden Design began in 2004 following studying Horticulture and Garden Design at Sparsholt College, Hampshire.

I am able to draw on a wide variety of skills from previous work roles within the Armed Services and 23 years for John Lewis as a Department Manager for 18 of them. These jobs gave me an early grounding in setting high standards, exceeding customers’ expectations and delivering to deadlines.

Over the years I have gained a reputation for spotting solutions to problems and for seeking out the best practices to enhance how things work, increase sales and manage cost control. I have a proven track record within John Lewis for developing new ideas that were later adopted by the wider Department store division.

I am always committed to seeing a job through and my communication skills ensure that I can paint the vision of what is required clearly to all involved. I am able to work with people at all levels having managed a team of 100+, working collaboratively within a job share and with a wide range of other disciplines within my design business.

I believe that gardens and the outdoors can, and should, improve and touch people’s lives. Building a close relationship with my Clients is important to me and ensures that the resulting design is both thoughtful and has a very personal touch.   Most of my designs are for a wide range of gardens including traditional, urban, wildlife and contemporary. I have also carried out some higher profile, public projects including: hospital and care home gardens, a small public space and memorial gardens.

During 2013 along with fellow garden designer, Mark Rendell, we designed and carried out a research project into what makes gardens effective and more actively used for those living with dementia in a care setting. This has been a thought-provoking and challenging project, causing us to reflect deeply on our own practices and those in our design sector. We have published a summary of our findings and have created a diagnostic tool for use with care homes who want to develop their outdoor spaces.

I love to see our natural world used in a very personal and meaningful way and to seeing people come to life within it.

A lot of the ideas which were shared are already under way. Such as the re-arrangement of seats to form viewing points and a squirrel obstacle course in the main garden.

Senior Activity Coordinator, London care home Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016

Mainly by splitting up the back garden, residents began to use the space.

Care home manager, Lancashire Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016

Thank you for all your advice.

Activities Manager, care home, Cheshire Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016

I would like to thank you both for an extremely useful and informative visit. It was a real pleasure to talk to you both and learn a lot about our garden and how it can be used to enrich the lives of our residents. I really am getting excited about making a difference with this Continue Reading

Care home manager, after first site visit Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016

[You] have a good understanding of dementia care.

Care home manager, Cardiff Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016