The garden designer at the landscaping and contruction department at Stewarts Garden Centres is to take early retirement.

Sue Loader started as a retail assistant at Stewart’s Christchurch centre in 1990. Within a few years, she had taken a year-long day course at the Kingston Maurward College for land-based studies near Dorchester, and having successfully designed and created gardens for private clients in her weekends, suggested to Martin Stewart, the MD, that a design and landscaping division would be a credible service to offer to customers. The idea has been successful and now Sue, and fellow original team members, can claim over 590 happy garden owners proud of a beautiful and colourful designer space.

Sue says that many of her clients are not gardeners. Often when people move into the area, they want their new home to have an outdoor space that is wildlife friendly whilst requiring little effort to keep tidy and still be where it is pleasing to spend time relaxing.

“I have particularly enjoyed designing gardens that need special attention to layers and levels. The challenge of making a space easier to work for those challenged with physical considerations, or fully wheelchair bound, is very satisfying when completed. A common sense approach to even a small space can make a big difference to the user.”

Now suffering with eyesight problems, Sue, aged 63, says that she hopes to spend more time on her smallholding in the New Forest and with her grandchildren.

Managing Director Martin Stewart, said that Sue will be a hard act to follow and wished her a happy retirement.

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