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Brentwood garden designer to battle for coveted Grand Designs award

An entrepreneuring garden designer from Brentwood is set to battle it out for a coveted Grand Designs award for the second time.

Liam Sapsford, 24, won the Grand Designs Live Garden Designer of the Year competition in 2014 and has once again made the shortlist of three competitors who will take part in a design challenge over three days later this month.

The winner will be presented with the award by Kevin McCloud, presenter of the Channel 4 TV show Grand Designs, at the biggest design exhibition in the UK at the ExCel centre in East London.

But having already won it, Liam said he wasn’t feeling any pressure to win back his crown.

“I don’t think I have anything to prove. It’s more about working with Grand Designs on something new and all the other people and businesses that will be there,” he said.

“Last time I won it was a non-stop celebration and I went on to work on really interesting projects in and around London.

“Kevin McCloud also recommended me to work on a project that is going to be on Grand Designs soon and then did my masters in Sweden.

“I also worked in Beijing and did a lot of landscape projects and after that I realised I wanted to do more residential projects.

“Asia was a bit far so I thought I would come back and try to do something here, so I set this up my own company The Garden Designer and haven’t looked back.”

Liam is a former St Martins School pupil and after leaving he went on to do a degree in landscape and garden design at Writtle College.

And after gaining a masters in entrepreneurship at a university in Sweden he has come back home full of new ideas, which he will use on his garden design in the competition.

“You get given a brief, which is quite vague as they only give you one word – this time it was ‘contrast’,” said Liam.

“I thought I could relate to the contrast between urban and nature and thought how I could create the perfect setting.

“My idea doesn’t really have boundaries, you won’t be able to mark out what is the urban section and what is the nature section.

“It will be somewhere you want to sit, play, relax and live in.”

He added: “I am using a lot of reusable timber and there will be a moss wall.

“The moss is from Norway, when I did my masters I worked for a company doing product placement and they used it – it’s really picking up.

“It’s really soft and you pin it down using a special method, it’s like a soft carpet on the wall and can be indoors and outdoors and can be good in a home or office environment.

“It’s a mad rush when you get there. As far as I can remember it gets really fast-paced but it’s a great environment to be part of, last time I learned so much.”

Liam is now working with Brentwood company Boswell Builders to build the components that will go into his garden during the three manic days of building from April 26 to 29 April.

His garden will then be on show at the Grand Designs Live exhibition at the ExCel Centre from April 30 to May 8.

To get in touch with Liam to arrange a free consultation email or call 07946261984.

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