• Name: Andy Sturgeon
    • Business: Andy Sturgeon Garden Design
    • Role(s): Founder and Principal
    • Business function: Garden design
    • Sector: Leisure
    • Hub member for: 7 years

Andy’s story

Andy is one of the UK’s leading garden designers. His modern designs are a fusion of traditional materials and contemporary styling which have become known for their timeless architectural qualities, innovative planting and sculptural characteristics.

Andy has won seven RHS Gold medals at Chelsea Flower Show in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2016 (he was also awarded the coveted ‘Best in Show’ award in both 2010 and 2016). Both The Sunday Times and House and Garden Magazine place Andy in the Top Ten list of landscape designers in Britain and the company’s work is frequently featured on television and in books, magazines and newspapers worldwide.

Commenting on his business, Andy explained, “My plan is to grow the business so that I can spend more time designing and less time managing. A few years ago when we were a relatively small enterprise I would have described myself as having virtually no management skills whatsoever and that was a real weakness so I shied away from it but now I’ve embraced it and that’s why the business is growing.   I actually get a kick out of many aspects of running the business now but I don’t want it to dominate what I do, I want somebody else to take on that responsibility.  What I’m trying to do… with the people that I’ve already got here, is to get them to take over my role in a way. Becoming bigger was driven by the fact that we can undertake ever more exciting and challenging projects so it was initially very much a creative thing rather than a financial motivation, but as you grow and you make more money that also becomes an incentive so the two things are wrapped up together.”

Why mdhub?

“Now that I’ve essentially journeyed from being a one-man band to running a fully-fledged business, I regularly need someone to talk to about ideas and problems but there are lots of things that I can’t discuss internally because my staff either don’t have the relevant experience or because the matters are confidential. Everyone here is a landscape architect or garden designer by training and part of their training and experience is in running projects which is the backbone of the success of the business.  They all know countless things that I don’t because I’m not actually as qualified as they are but I’m the one with the experience of the ups and downs of running a business and there’s no one here that I can share that with and who can empathise with my worries and plans so just to be able to have a sounding board and to hear other people’s experiences is invaluable.

With mdhub I believe there’s a feeling of ‘we’re all in it together’ which is incredibly supportive and reassuring. Everyone’s got a story to tell about something and there are always positive ideas floating about from someone who’s experienced something similar or who simply has a good business head on their shoulders.   It also gives me reassurance that maybe I’m doing the right thing, even if it’s mostly based on guess work and intuition.