Updated: Aug 5, 2020

Tessa Crichton-Miller is a Garden Designer available for online consultations

We want our local community to have expert trade advice in lockdown. This way you can avoid non-essential contact and maybe brush up on your DIY skills while you’re at it. I have found that many DIY forums contain a lot of misinformation, and while they can be a great source of inspiration – I would not take advice on these forums without triple checking it first. This is why I created a dedicated Facebook Group with our verified trade experts. So without further ado, let me introduce you to the first Trade Expert to answer my interview questions:

Tessa Chrichton-Miller
Tessa – Garden Design Expert

Company Name: Tessa Crichton-Miller Garden Design

Located in: Hackney

Website:   tessacrichtonmiller.com

Social Media: Working on it What can you help with?

Currently – online gardening consultations (first half hour free then £35 an hour). I can answer general gardening questions and offer planting ideas for beds/pots

What do you do when we’re not on lockdown?

Normally I focus on garden and planting design and garden rescue projects

How has lock down affected you?

I’m not currently going out to maintain gardens that I have designed though I have some planting design projects I’m working on which hopefully I can do in May.

No complete design projects as you do really need to see and survey a site to do this properly. I’m using the time to teach myself a new computer aided design programme.

Do you have any offers for our community at the moment?

Free 30 minute gardening consultations on zoom 

What’s your top tip?

Now is the time to sow seeds – Hardy/tender annuals or any vegetables.  If you can’t get hold of any ask your neighbours or use Next door app to find local growers. Sow in small pots with compost or even if you haven’t got that some garden soil that has been broken down and all stones removed. Follow instructions on packet – small seeds can be sown on the surface with a small amount of compost/soil on top. Larger seeds sow 1cm deep. Water compost/ soil first before sowing. Keep indoors on a light windowsill and wait for them to come up. Hardy annuals or veg seed can be planted out end or April or May when risk of frost has passed. Harden off before planting out ie, cover them at night outside with a cold frame or plastic container for a few nights so they slowly acclimatise to the outside. Most hardy annuals and veg need to be planted in a sunny position.

Wanstead Garden Design by Tessa Chrichton-Miller

A garden in Wanstead in the first year after it was built and planted

Where can we get garden supplies during lockdown?

A lot of garden centres and places like Homebase are closed. Its hard to get hold of compost. There are online companies like Crocus that are still delivering plants. 

Tell me a question you ask a new client?

What are your favourite plants? What plant reminds you of your childhood?

That’s beautiful. For me it’s bluebells and sunflowers.


Join our Sultan Trade Expert DIY Support group. Here, Tessa and other local traders we have verified can offer advice. Whether you are embarking on a carpentry passion project or have a leaking pipe. There will be someone to help you. Keep an eye out for the next “Meet the Expert!” And as usual, if you’re interested in a decorating or building quote do request one now.

Come and join Tessa & me!

Sultan DIY support

Check out our Facebook group!

Decorating The Eco Friendly Nursery

Decorating The Eco Friendly Nursery

Products and methods we can use to make a child's first bedroom sustainable If you have been reading the Sultan blog before you will know that if you want to be sustainable and eco friendly as a homeowner, it is to not decorate at all. This way you aren’t using any...

How to choose an eco friendly wallpaper?

How to choose an eco friendly wallpaper?

What to look out for when you are in the process of choosing an Eco friendly wallpaper, by a sustainable UK bespoke maker.There is a lot of talk about sustainable decorating materials but most of it focuses on paint. Surely you want your wallpaper to be kind to the...