Landscaper Ashleigh Clare shows us around a beautiful garden in Hillcrest.

Ashleigh Clare turned her love for gardening and flowers into a career 15 years ago when she started her landscaping business Garden Heart.

Today this award-winning garden designer has established an impressive portfolio creating magical spaces through foliage in some of the countries most welcoming places.

One of her clients is Faye Fenn who has a garden on a steep slope that was built by creating layers with different divisions in the garden, that Ashleigh cleverly transformed.

Ashleigh spared a few minutes to share her thoughts on ‘living better’, the ethos behind what we at The Insider SA are striving to encourage.

How does your work inspire ‘living better’?

“I believe your garden is an extension of your interior living space, and that your outside space needs to be just as functional and welcoming. You must want to go out and enjoy your outdoor living space, which helps you relax and connect with nature at the same time.”

What legacy would you like to leave behind through your work?

“I would love people to realise how important it is to connect with nature and enjoy being outside by creating and designing spaces that draw people outside.”

What piece of advice would you like to share with South Africa?

“No matter how big your outdoor space is, it is always possible to bring green into your life. From a small patio of potted garden space to a large garden… the space to relax and breath in all the good that plants and garden design can bring can help you stay in touch with nature, which in turn can help keep you grounded.”

How does your work incorporate or lead the conversation around sustainability?

“Where possible I always try to incorporate sustainable products that will assist in the upkeep of the garden especially when it comes to water. Designing spaces for water tanks that can catch rain water are always one of my top priorities.”

Are there any last thoughts you’d like to leave us with?

“It is never too late to start bringing green into your life and no matter how big your space is, it is possible to create a green environment for yourself through clever design. Just start small.”