Darren Hawkes 

Award Winning Landscape Designer 

Look outside of your industry,

Inspiration comes from all around...


Darren trained as an actor before throwing his huge creativity into Garden and Landscape Design. He won 2x Chelsea Gold Medal Awards

RI: What motivates you to innovate in your industry?

Darren: Trying to surprise myself so I don’t get bored.

RI: What’s the innovation you’re most proud of?

Darren: I don’t feel as if I’ve been particularly innovative just determined to push myself.

RI: What or who inspires you?

Darren: Picasso, Morrisey , Richard Serra, Stonehenge, nature.

RI: What industry change was the biggest to you in the last few years?

Darren: The introduction of the 2015 CDM regulations. This put responsibility for H&S and best practice in to the lap of the designer as well as the contractor, which is a good thing but as with all new legislation can be awkward to implement.

RI: What industry challenge would you most like to solve?

Darren: Training. I’m lucky to get to work with much bigger companies than my own so can often learn from them how to create a better infrastructure, but I wish I could offer more advice to those starting out as sole traders who want to grow a business beyond two people and a van full of tools to something that is setting a benchmark for others to raise their standards towards.

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RI: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to a fresh innovator starting out in your industry?

Be prepared to work lots of hours, nothing comes from nothing.

RI: Do you have any particular routines that help you find inspiration?

I don’t believe in routine as a source for inspiration, rather the opposite. Change things around, if I’m stuck at my desk too much I get out on site, if I’m feeling hemmed in I relish the chance to get out of the county to meet clients further afield. Look outside of your industry for inspiration be it sport, science, music, fashion or literature. Inspiration comes from all around.


RI: What does the future hold for your business? What products or innovations do you have in the pipeline?

I hope the future proves to be a continuation of the gradual growth we managed over the past decade. I’m certainly doing a lot more work nationally so expect that to be opening up more opportunities.

RI: What technologies do you think will shape the future of your industry?


I think CGI as a means of presenting ideas is going to as commonplace as a 2d CAD drawing within a few years.

RI: What do you think will be the next big thing in your industry this year?

Our industry moves quite slowly, one of the beauties of horticulture is the consistency- Spring follows Winter etc. That said there are always new materials and plants being introduced to the market, however, I suspect we’ll see a greater determination to source plants and materials locally and from ethical and sustainable sources.

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