Adam, why would a client choose you?
There are many garden designers
and landscapers out
there and I appreciate the choice for a new client is difficult to make,
given that there are so many to choose from. The phone directories are
full of them. However, as a small company we can can give individual care
and attention to each and every single garden.
Many of our clients have
become very good friends over the years and they know they aren't
hiring 'white van man' who doesn't know the first thing about gardening.
They're hiring someone who has over twenty years experience in the
business. I've been practising the art of gardens for more than half my
life and have a real passion which I'm told shows in the gardens we
With a First Class Honours in
Garden Design and years of experience to my name, I feel confident that
our company can understand each client on a personal basis, creating an
outdoor space that is a private work of art individual to them. I was very
moved by a comment from one of my clients when she said that the garden we
"Changed her life".
So, what's new?
We recently finished a large,
private garden in Orpington, Kent. It's
is a great showcase for the wonderful array of different elements a new
garden can have from grand patio areas, outdoor kitchen, summerhouse,
hot tub, play areas for the children and an extensive deck which
overlooks a woodland. What makes it special is the details we've managed
to incorporate like the beautiful lighting system which not only extends
the use of the garden after dark but also increases security in a very
We were over the moon
recently to discover one of our gardens had been featured on ITV for
'May The Best House Win" series.
The garden was designed for Vinehouse Interiors of Wrotham and their
property was one of four entries up for a £1000 prize. Described
by one fo the contestants as "absolutely stunning", we were so excited
when the winning entry was announced as Vinehouse and our garden !
It's a real achievement and a garden we're very proud of.
We've also recently completed a
variety of different gardens, including several courtyards and two
larger gardens. Every garden is as unique as their owners so there's no
limit to what can be achieved with careful planning and intelligent
design. See our portfolio
for photographs of the finished gardens.
We've also been proud
sponsors of Ellenor Open Garden Scheme. So far we've managed to raise
£2000 for the Ellenor, our chosen charity.
What really counts is the passion one brings to each and every garden.
Some people approach this profession as just a job. To me it's a way of
I've written over a
hundred gardening articles for publications including Kent Life Magazine, Kent County Magazine,
Kent Lifestyle and Meridian Magazine.
IA few years ago, I had the pleasure
of being interviewed for the BBC1 6 O'clock News in a feature on how
climate change affects gardeners here in the South East. It's something
we're very aware of as a company and we aim to design drought tolerant
planting schemes which not only benefit wildlife but also save precious
Can you describe your CV?
I started early at the age of 16, doing general
gardening jobs for a whole multitude of different gardens, studying for
my Gardening City and Guilds
at the same time.
Then I worked many years at Ruxley Manor Garden Centre
in Kent and Coolings Nurseries to improve my plant knowledge. I also
learnt a great deal about serving the public during these early years
which has proved invaluable.
In 1993 I enrolled at Hadlow College for the
Garden Design BA Honours Degree, with a final year at University of
Greenwich where I qualified with
Class Honours in Garden Design.
Shortly after that I spent a learning period at
a landscape architect's practice in Kensington, London, designing
Mediterranean gardens abroad, before setting up on
Since then our company's work has been seen
throughout the home counties all the way to the coast. I was very
pleased to be interviewed on BBC Radio Kent for our
Mediterranean Garden in Eynsford which I still look after.
We are also proud to be designing schemes for
important developers like Rydon Homes who consistently win awards for
the years, however I've continued to be a gardener. Some designers
don't seem to get their hands dirty but I regularly do, either by planting
in the gardens we do or maintaining them after they're finished.
After all, you can't really design a garden if you don't understand how to
look after one as the two things are interwoven. The maintenance of
a garden is key to its success long after the builders and ladnscapers
have all left.
are your five favourite plants?
It's got to be the following, although I know I
get teased about the Rudbeckias since I use so many of them in my
designs - but, hey, they are fantastic!
Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm', Stipa arundinacea,
Hemerocallis 'Cartwheels' , Quercus robur and
Brunnera 'Jack Frost' in no particular order.
your favourite gardening tool / piece of kit?
Probably my Felco 7 secateurs. They've got the swivel handle and I
can use it all day for 'tweaking' things in the garden.
is your most admired designer (dead or alive?)
That's a hard one! Probably Jellicoe
since I studied him at University and he really made me sit up and think
about the psychology of sensitive landscape design. Otherwise, I'd
choose Christopher Lloyd, an absolute plantsman genius. He wasn't
afraid to try bold combinations and what he didn't know about planting
design probably isn't worth knowing!
your favourite external space (garden or architecture?)
We visited La Grande Arche, La Defence in
France a few years back. It's a working office block - but with a
difference. From a long way off it looks like a giant white square
on the horizon. When you're standing underneath it, it's like nothing
else on Earth. The geometry is so clear, so pure and so...huge!!
Imagine a white cube, big enough to contain Notre Dame Cathedral, with a
hollow middle you can walk through. Designed by Otto von Spreckelsen,
it's simply mind-blowing.
you describe your personal design bias?
Keep it simple! Be it materials, planting
or spatial schematics, take the ideas and then carve them down to a
simpler form. Then do it again. The simplest designs, like the paper
clip, are usually the strongest and most beautiful.
your most memorable gardening story?
I did a garden for Harriet Roberts, one of Tina
Turners' song writers a few years back (yes, I know it's name
dropping!) One afternoon it was raining so hard I had to admit
defeat and retreat back indoors. Harriet was playing her piano and asked
me if I played anything. I said I played (a very bad!) guitar. Before I
knew it, there I was, jamming with Harriet, improvising the only piece I
knew, Hugh Christie Piece No 5 for guitar. Not gardening, but
certainly a special garden that left an impression on me.
what do you see as the future of garden design?
We need to get away from
the quick-fix, soul-less media junk. Gardening is a very personal
thing, it takes time to learn and patience to become good at. Good
design refines the process of understanding the land around us. Garden
design could be
seen as the greatest of all the arts in the future - after all, wasn't
it Jellicoe who said that garden design is the only art to reach all