Professional Spotlight

This week we asked Marc Piechocki, a new Professional Shoot member, a few questions to find out more about him, his company I-Echo Landscape Designs and how he uses Shoot.


 Where are you based and willing to travel for design work?

We are based in Wimbledon Village and our projects are mostly in London and Surrey, but distance is not a problem. We have projects abroad and our cutting edge visualisation and design service means that we can effectively communicate online which minimises the need for site visits during the design process.

How did you find Shoot?

I was searching to find a solution to a gap in our specification process. We needed to transfer our large plant lists into a more visually informative format quickly.  I stumbled upon Shoot whilst doing researching online. Shoot covered everything I needed and now achieves even more, it has also enabled us expanded our service.

How do you use Shoot in your design process?

We introduce Shoot to our clients very early in the design process by asking them to attach any plants that they specifically desire. Plant lists are then developed using Excel and imported into Shoot which does a very good job in finding photos and profiles. These are invaluable when explaining a scheme to our clients. Once the plant list has been confirmed I then share this list with our planting/maintenance team who can then calculate how many hours would be required in the garden so we can produce a planting and maintenance quote.

What are your top 3 plants? (Sorry, we know that is a hard question to answer!)

Well that is difficult,  I think Erigeron karvinskianus is great for bordering paving as it will soften any edge. Cornus Kousa ‘Miss Satomi’ is a beautiful specimen and is a very  delicate Kousa variety with lovely petal tones and Verbena bonariensis a great splash of colour perfect for impact within a border.

And finally, what is your favourite feature in Shoot for Professionals?

There are many favourites so I have to mention my top two firstly the plant list upload facility is very powerful and saves so much time in trawling through google for plant details and photos. Secondly is the ability to communicate fluidly with our clients and retain that communication beyond the completion of a design.

Check out our blog on pricing options for Professionals for more information.

Modern Slavery Garden

Juliet Sargeant Designs Show Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 to Highight the Existence of Modern Slavery in the UK & Effect Change

The Juliet Sargeant Designs show Garden is a celebration of the British Parliment passing the Modern Slavery Act  into law on 26 March 2015.

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However, this law is just the beginning. Ninety percent of actual change in circumstances is due to the actions of law enforcement and the general public. It is with this fact in mind that a group of like-minded individuals from all walks of life came together and created this garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Despite this law, statistics tell us there are an estimated 13,000 enslaved people in the UK currently, and more than 27 million people worldwide.  The aim of this garden is to raise public awareness of this issue. “Being involved in the RHS Chelsea Flower show affords us a wonderful opportunity to get the message into the living rooms of the great British public, build support and help end modern slavery” Mirabelle Galvin, Modern Slavery Garden Team Member.

The garden features a number of doors. First to meet the eye are bright, inviting doors surrounded by colourful planting schemes, used to illustrate the ordinary streets in which we live. Behind these doors, we glimpse a series of dark, imposing, locked doors, symbolising  the hidden ‘behind closed doors’ nature of modern slavery. 

Translucent planting separates the front of the garden from the darker inner space. Feathery fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and the stems of Verbascum and lupin (Lupinus) echo the vertical iron railings surrounding the garden. A ribbon of warm apricot and orange hues run around the perimeter of the garden and compliment the bright colours of the painted front doors. These ribbons include the brightly-coloured, cottage garden favourites, like Peony ‘Coral Sunset’ (Paeonia ‘Coral Sunset’) and Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’. Included are recently introduced varieties like Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ , launched at Chelsea in 2010, and Heuchera macrantha ‘Palace Purple’ , which debuted in 1983.

Juliet has also chosen to include static pauses in the planting with Coprosma ‘Lemon and Lime’ and Coprosma ‘Pina Colada’ These contrast with the more dramatic forms of Red hook sedge (Uncinia rub) and New Zealand wind grass (Amenanthele lessoniana). This is clearly a garden of contrasts, the bright, uplifting colours surrounded the black heart of the garden’s interior.

Front of mind with clients

AJR Photo

Shoot keeps Tendercare front of mind with our clients. Adam Robinson, Design (Tendercare)

Shoot for Professionals is a great way of maintaining continuity with a client beyond the garden handover stage and it also allows us to brand the regular care instructions which helps to keep Tendercare front of mind. If the client adds more plants to the garden themselves they can edit the Shoot garden page and we have an up-to-date record of what’s in the garden when they come back to us  to talk about additional plants or designing other areas of the garden.

We’ve just designed and built a small garden for a client in Flackwell Heath and, as the clients are not big gardeners and were looking for something low maintenance, we thought it would be a nice gesture to give them a year’s subscription to Shoot and upload all of their plants to the website in addition to the planting plans and other visuals. The full service Shoot package will ensure that Tendercare Design stays front of mind with the client.

Note: If you shop at Tendercare they will provide you with a PDF print out of your plants purchased to upload into Shoot.

Shoot for Professionals – Pricing options

Shoot has recently launched a new Professional garden management service for garden designers and their clients.

The new Professional service now includes:

  • Real-time collaboration on gardens, plants and garden care
  • Unlimited sharing with clients, staff and suppliers forever
  • Your clients, your branding
  • Multi-plant add in one click
  • Business listing with web links, profile, photo and logo

At a recent TendercareTalks event there was a discussion about the various commercial options to provide the Shoot service to clients. We thought we’d describe 4 sample commercial options to help you work out which package is right for you.

1) I want to try out the full Shoot service for Professionals at the lowest cost possible

We can help you to learn more in a few ways:

2) I am convinced Shoot is a great service. I want to pay for my clients to get the Shoot service with my branding on gardens and care emails. I want to pay for my clients for any time period of my choosing – from 1 day up to forever. And I may wish to share each garden with more than one person.

Some clients are important enough to you that you may wish to sponsor their Shoot account and build long-term relationships with them. If you want to sponsor the Shoot service for a few clients the pricing goes down significantly if you upgrade to the next pricing tier up. For example, you can provide sponsored support for 5 client gardens for only £29 a month. If you pay annually upfront you also get 2 months free. You can choose to sponsor each client for as long as you wish. You can sponsor for 3 months, a full year, or even several years. It is entirely up to you how long you provide the sponsored service for. Also, all gardens you create can be shared with many people as you need to at no extra charge. So you can invite, for example, ‘Mrs Smith’, ‘Mr Smith’, a landscaper, maintenance gardener and even a plant nursery at no extra charge.

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If you decide to stop sponsoring the garden you can then ‘Transfer’ the garden profile to the garden owner and they can continue to pay for the subscription directly.


3) I want to be a Professional member of Shoot. I want to set-up my clients’ Shoot garden for them, and to keep copies of all the gardens I create. But I want my clients to pay for their own subscription directly and I don’t mind that the service doesn’t have my branding.

If you prefer not to pay for your clients’ use of Shoot that is fine too. You can sign-up for the lowest priced Professional tier in Shoot and simply create and send each client garden to the customer and they can decide to pay for it. Click ‘Transfer’ link to send a garden to someone else. You can keep a copy for your own records.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 18.11.03The client will get a fully completed garden profile but it will be a restricted view as a free member until they upgrade for £36 per year. You can also offer a combination. You can sponsor a client for a short period of time and then send the garden profile on to the client for them to continue paying directly later on.

4) I don’t want to pay anything, I don’t want to be a member of Shoot myself and I don’t need to keep a record of the garden profiles and plant lists I create. I would like to set-up garden profiles on behalf of my clients as a service for them.

If you only want to help your clients with a garden profile in Shoot you can ask your client to join Shoot and share their login details with you. You can then login as them to set up the plant lists and notes for the client. You can do the work logged in as them on their behalf and then allow them to continue on their own with Shoot directly without ever becoming a member yourself.

Here is a handy table of the options and benefits of each commercial choice.

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We hope these commercial options give you all the commercial flexibility you may need. Please send us comments, feedback or request a demo by emailing the team at

The Big Problem with Sudden Oak Death

Although this may seem like old news, Sudden oak death is something all gardeners should look out for.

It is not just our beautiful old oak trees that suffer from this pathogen but many other smaller trees and shrubs that you are likely to have in your garden. The plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum known as Sudden oak death also effects garden plants such as; Rhododendron, Viburnum, CamelliaCalluna, Erica, Hamamelis , Lonicera , SyringaTaxus and Laurel.

Symptoms vary depending on each plant, therefore is especially hard to identify. Our advice would be to visit the DEFRA site to see the list of symptoms and contact them directly if you need any further assistance in this matter. If you do find an issue please share it with us on Twitter.


How much should a garden cost?

Many of us look at inspirational, beautiful designer gardens or RHS flower show gardens and hope to re-create the look in our own outside space. However many starting out to transform their gardens don’t really know how much to budget for or how to get started. Here are some common questions answered:

How much should a garden cost?

My experience is that most people underestimate what a new garden will cost. How much should your budget for? This depends on your budget and what you hope to acheive. For a great garden , it is recommended that you should estimate £100 as a minimum per square metre of garden. This may sound like a lot to invest but beautiful garden can cost as much to build as a new kitchen.

Do I need a garden designer?

If want to give your garden a completely new look, it is  worthwhile hiring an experienced, fully qualified garden designer to help. They’ll help you to make the most out of your space and budget. The cost of a designer is much smaller that the overall cost of building a new garden and is a worthwhile investment to get the most from your outside space. By hiring a garden designer who is a registered member of the Society of Garden Designers you can be confident of getting the best service and expertise.

Do I need a landscaper?

If you are doing garden construction you will need a landscaper. They will take the garden design, including elements such as garden levels, hard landscaping, power and lighting requirements, water access, planting plan and so on from the garden designer and will  complete the build work in your garden. We recommend that you hire members of the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL). All members are inspected annually and must adhere to professional standards to ensure they provide you with a high standard and a professional service.

Capturing that essence

By Carol Sharp Photography

How wonderful it is that ‘capture’ devices are so easy, and we can endlessly snap our favourite plants endlessly.  But do we really capture that special feeling we experienced when we were lit up with joy or fascinated at the sight of a plant, so we can share it and re-live it in the darker days of winter? So many images are hardly above average, great for a quick look but they don’t invite us to stay with them for a while. It’s a bit like fast food and slow food. The latter takes care and attention but is well worth the effort.

Like anything, its takes skill to do it well. I have been photographing flowers as a professional and as an artist for 20 years, and would like to show you how its done.

Join me for a workshop giving you the tools to make those special images that stand out from the crowd.


Smarter Plant Lists and Care

The smarter way to provide plant lists and care advice to clients

I’m a professional garden designer or landscaper. Why would I use Shoot Professional membership?


Working with Shoot’s online plant database of over 15 000 varieties can literally save you hours of work in compiling and researching planting schemes. You can select varieties at the click of a button and add them to a client planting list. Every variety has both a photograph and extensive variety information for you to present to your clients. If a plant is missing from the database, our experts will add it for you. Tweak the list until your client is satisfied, then upon the project’s completion, Shoot allows you to
hand over a detailed plant list online.


You simply send a plant list on Shoot to your client, and Shoot’s unique plant maintenance software generates a bespoke plant care calendar with timely email advice reminders on what to do when to keep their garden in tip-top condition. You can offer a Shoot membership as a costed extra part of your contract or include it as a free additional service.

VisionMaintain your vision

When you leave a site, equip your clients with the essential knowledge to care for their new garden. With a personalised Shoot planting plan you are giving clients the confidence and the tools to look after their garden and helping to maintain the garden vision you designed.

ProfileDevelop your profile

Profile your work in Shoot’s ‘Inspirational Gardens’ section, be listed on the ‘Gardening Services’ directory, and contribute guest blogs and views in the active gardening forums.

Matt“Time and value for money are Shoot’s huge benefits to my business. I am logged in a lot! I use Shoot in the preliminaries when I’m proposing planting schemes to customers and researching new plants and fresh ideas. And at the end of the project, I either sell Shoot membership and the personalised plant maintenance programme or, for larger projects, provide it as part of the package.” Matt Nichol , MSGD MBALI Matt Nichol Garden Design, Cheshire

Helen B

“Shoot’s plant information and image database is so comprehensive that it saves me a huge amount of time. I use Shoot when I am proposing a design, and as part of the closing package upon completion. Our customers really love it. Shoot is an important selling point for the Haskett’s service to the client.” Helen Boem, BSc (Hons) Hort, Haskett Ltd, Essex

Helen ES“We use Shoot to give our clients monthly maintenance advice and the clients that sign up for it have been very happy. We also contribute guest blogs and finished projects for Shoot’s featured gardens and Pinterest boards.” Helen Elks-Smith MSGD, Bsc(Hons) Dip(GD) Cert(Hort) Elks-Smith Design Ltd,

The bottom line: just £130* per year

As a Shoot Professional Member you can give unlimited number of one-year Shoot membership accounts to your clients during your subscription period. Many designers and landscapers choose to earn their membership fee back by charging £50-£120 per client account. *pricing as of April 2013 subject to change

Vectorworks Landmark teams with Shoot

Vectorworks Content ProviderNEW! If you are a Vectorworks Service Select member using Landmark 2013 and a Shoot Professional membership, you can associate a Shoot plant with any native Vectorworks Plant Objects within your designs, and then export your plant lists from Vectorworks software into the Shoot website to create online virtual maintenance schedules for clients. This exciting integration saves you even more time!

Join Shoot as a Professional Member here

View PDF version here

Vectorworks teams with Shoot

Press Release: Computers Unlimited, on behalf of Nemetschek Vectorworks Inc, has partnered with award-wining gardening website, Shoot ( to provide integration between Vectorworks Landmark – the market leading software for landscape design – and Shoot’s award winning online garden design resources.

The new partnership allows Landmark users to generate personal garden design plans using Shoot’s unique offering, which includes information, maintenance and care advice for 13,000+ plants.

“This is such an exciting initiative where customers will be able to quickly add any plant from the extensive Shoot Plant List into their Vectorworks plans, generate plant schedule reports for their customers and send specific project lists back to the Shoot website to create online maintenance plans” said Martyn Horne from Computers Unlimited, the exclusive distributor of Vectorworks in the UK.

The Shoot plant list is available to Vectorworks Service Select Members using Vectorworks Landmark. The plant list will contain the Botanical Name, Common Name, A summary of the Plant Characteristics and the Shoot Database Unique Plant ID. Having added the Shoot plant list to the master Vectorworks Plant Database, users will be able to add the specific Shoot plant to plant objects within their Vectorworks drawings in the usual manner. Users will also be able to export their plant list schedules from Vectorworks back into the Shoot website to create online maintenance schedules.

Vectorworks Landmark software is the industry standard for Landscape Architects, Garden Designers and Urban Planners.  It provides everything needed to design, manage and visualise projects – enabling efficiency, reducing delays and growing businesses.  Its flexible tools and intuitive interface provide superior 2D/3D modelling and design to create accurate site plans.  Features include digital terrain and shadow analysis and cut and fill calculations to maximise soil reuse.

To view the Shoot Plant List you need to be a Vectorworks Service Select Member.  To write an article about what is available you can view the How To Movie.

About Nemetschek Vectorworks Inc
Nemetschek Vectorworks Inc, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nemetschek AG and has been developing software since 1985.  The Vectorworks line of software products provides professional design solutions for more than 450,000 designers in the AEC, entertainment and landscape design industries.  With a tradition of designing flexible versatile, intuitive and affordable CAD and Building Information Modelling (BIM) solutions, Nemetschek Vectorworks continues to be a global leader in 3D design technologies.  More information.

About Shoot
Shoot is an award-winning website for garden designers.  With a Shoot membership, you can create your own personal ‘my garden’ space online.  If you add to your account which plants are in your garden, you will receive care reminders each month by email.  Conceived by Nicola Gammon, a ‘self-taught’ gardener who wanted a simpler way to approach the planting and care of her own garden, Shoot is your gardening resource.  Here you will find the tools to help you create and manage your own garden without the need of heavy reference books.  More information.

About Computers Unlimited Design Department
Computers Unlimited Design Department are the exclusive Vectorworks distributors in the UK.  We distribute a range of 2D, 3D, BIM and CAD solutions for professionals working in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning, garden design, lighting design and event design.  More information

Vectorworks Landmark

Update for all garden design professionals.  The latest  version of Vectorworks Landmark has been released with a link to Shoot plant data. See screenshot below.

Shoot plant data tab search

Still to come is the integration to export plants lists from Vectorworks into Shoot. Watch for updates.