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Small Business Spotlight: Hastate Design

Logo hastate design

Find out more about Hastate Design in our small business spotlight article.

Tell us a bit about your business.

Hastate Design is a naturalistic planting design specialist.

We offer planting designs, which follow the “right plant, right place” principle. This means we try to understand the garden first, its soil, sun exposure, elevation, before we propose any planting.

We mainly work with perennial plants, which are known for their longevity and changing appearance over the seasons.

Our approach responds to the current concerns around the climate change, by creating low maintenance, long lasting, self-sufficient, and visually attractive planting schemes. By selecting the right plants for the site, the planting develops in a way that largely takes care of itself and provides visual variety throughout the year.

What makes your business unique?

Our strap line: gardens gently edited exactly captures our design approach: we gradually introduce new plants and gently edit what is already present. We believe that to create a wonderful garden environment, doesn’t need invasive/brutal remodelling of the site, which destroys its current characteristics, flora and fauna.

We encourage our clients to have less hardscape elements in their gardens and more plants. We deliver a design approach with plants at its core: “plants not paths.”

We also believe in challenging the current concept of what a garden should look like. We encourage clients to embrace and cherish all seasons in a garden, this means accepting decaying and fading plants, not cutting back dried stems and flowers, leaving spent foliage.

We are use very artistic tools, like sketches and collages, when showing our clients how the planting would develop over time.

We can work this way due to my love and passion for plants as well as my training in art curation.

Describe your typical working day.

I wake up very early. Normally about 5am. I love this time of a day; it is very quiet, and it is time for myself to meditate or do gentle exercise.

I also work for one of the high-end hotels in Edinburgh overseeing their large collection of indoor and outdoor plants. This means a few times a week I start my work at the hotel before 6am in the morning.

I don’t have a typical workday, as it depends on the design project I am working at the moment.

I work from home. When I create my unique planting designs, I normally spend a lot of time researching for the right plants, how they will work together and importantly, how the look of the planting will evolve with the seasons.

When I know which plants I want to use in the design, I create sketches with plant combinations. I do it at my desk surrounded with many colourful pens and pencils, pieces of paper, inspiring objects, books. Sometimes I embrace even more creative approach and I make beautiful, very artistic, collages, using newspapers, old magazines, old plant catalogues. Here I am focusing on plants colour, shapes of foliage, general layout of plants. I show these collages to my clients when we discuss our proposed plant selection.

I often draw a planting plan. It is all handmade and I do it at my desk. I don’t use computer rendering in my work. I use T-square, pencil and tracing paper. The planting plan allows for visualising more precisely where the plants would go, the quantities and the overall layout of the planting.

As I am curious, it is very important to learn and develop all the time. I really enjoy that the learning element in horticulture and planting design is endless. It is my passion.

I also try to find time to read and relax. It is very important to keep the right balance, especially when working from home.

Why Leith?

My husband and I we moved to this area in 2015. We love its vibrancy, rich, multicultural atmosphere and variety of products and services that the Leith area offers.

It is fascinating to watch how many interesting and varied businesses have emerged in this area in last couple of years despite the impact of the pandemic.

Leith also reminds me of a Shoreditch London, where I used to live, when I was studying art curation at the Whitechapel Gallery.

Name three fellow Leith businesses you love to visit.

Ante, a new coffee shop and bakery, which has just opened next door to where I live. Love the bread they make.

KREMA Bakehouse, at the bottom of Leith Walk for a cake treats, especially their orange cake!

Tattie Shaws for vegetables. As a vegetarian, I could not live without them.

Published: 23rd January 2023