Landscape and planting design

Following the study of Landscape Architecture at Leeds Metropolitan University I worked alongside Vagi Fitzpatrick, a plantsman, installing and looking after gardens designed by Todd Longstaffe Gowan, along with a few for Tom Stuart Smith and Jinny Blom way back in 2002/3/4. This period remains a huge inspiration both in terms of the vast range of exotic and unfamiliar plants I became aware of, but also in observing how a beautiful place comes into being.

Since setting up solo in 2004 projects initially were worked around the care of individual gardens; through looking after a garden came the development of new planting schemes. Over a period of 4 years I scoured plant catalogues, visited nurseries, and experimented with plant combinations. It is very easy to become passionate about the growing, flowering and seeding of some of the plants that are happy in British soil.

In more recent years, and following a return to the study of Landscape Architecture at masters level, I have worked in a design capacity only - working both solo and in collaboration. Projects include working with Studio Huw, Hal Architects and Ballymore developers as the conceptual, landscape and planting designer on a Thames side palm garden installed into the framework of a stripped out warehouse in the docklands. Another has been working as landscape and planting designer from the early stages of a 3 year community heritage lottery funded project in North Wales; from the initial phase of looking at historical evidence of previous forms of the garden to the preparation of the previously cultivated soil, setting out of plants and planting days that were run as horticultural workshops with a strong team of volunteers. Both are now open to the public.

All projects undertaken to date have started from the conceptual phase, through to the setting out of plants, site supervision and completion - whether it be for a landscape or for a planting design.

The process

In creating a garden either for the individual, a group or for the public, it is about creating a comfortable space. I work towards finding harmony in the environment in which the garden or planted space exists, at the same time as bringing life and energy through the diversity in plant species. For me the process is about digging deep into the sense of place, or the history of place, or the aesthetics and inspirations of the client to find a seed of peace. It is a feeling, and when that starting point is found layer upon layer of richness can be added.

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