BURNING bridges isn’t just a metaphor for landscape gardner Cherise Haslam.
After 12 years as a remedial massage therapist she had had enough and burned nearly all of her client cards.
“I only kept 11, the rest went into the hibachi at eleven at night – it took hours.”
The Fremantle local didn’t know what to do next, but a career-counselling friend suggested gardening.
While Ms Haslam liked gardening, she preferred the idea of designing gardens.
Learning the business from the ground-up meant working in a nursery.
“They worked me hard and I was in bed by 7.30pm, but it was a good start.”
A course at Murdoch TAFE took her to the next level, but it didn’t cover the nuts-and-bolts of garden design.
“I wanted to learn about structure so I started doing it on my own. That was 20 years ago,” the successful landscaper and horticulturalist says.
Her business Garden Deva offers a range of consultations from simple walk-throughs and mud maps to highly detailed designs.
They supply and install plants, but Ms Haslam encourages people to do their own planting.
“People enjoy their garden more if they do some of it themselves.”
Inexpensive ways to increase the value of your home is part of Ms Haslam’s service.
She also teaches people how to create a water-wise garden, explaining which plants are heat tolerant in the face of WA’s increasingly hot weather.
“What people don’t think about is planting more trees. Plants I was putting in 10 years ago are now burning.”
WA is behind other states which put a dollar value on retaining trees, Ms Haslam says.
“We should have more laws around significant trees.”
Wicking garden beds is a great way to save water, especially when growing vegetables.
Ms Haslam is holding a wicking beds workshop at Ecoburbia in Beaconsfield on March 3 (Tix at eventbrite.com.au).
At last year’s Perth Garden and Outdoor Living Festival Garden, Deva showcased a turf bed.
This year the grownups will be able to frolic amongst the greenery in a special playground for adults.
“Kids shouldn’t get to have all the fun,” laughs Ms Haslam.
By JENNY D’ANGER
Cherise Haslam 0423 385 568