Category: Garden Design

Whilst manager of the landscape division at Huntingdon Garden & Leisure I assisted in the design and planting of this site, the largest garden centre in England.

Mature trees were imported from Deepdale Nurseries.

The Head of Hong Kong University’s Landscape Architecture department requested I join the staff in a part-time role as Assistant Professor.

Students generously voted me best lecturer for the planting design module which I taught to both year groups of the two year MLA course over 26 months.

A mixture of lectures (two series of six lectures), workshops, design reviews, model making and examinations increased the students breadth and detailed knowledge of plant physiolgy, evolution, application in design, growth behaviour and management.

The lectures also covered the history of landscape design in Europe, the Middle East and Far East with case studies based on my own sites and previous projects.


courtyard niemodlinThe restoration of a 19th century (Silesian) farmhouse, barns, and outbuildings into a holiday/ retirement home resulted in the accumulation of salvaged and reclaimed building materials. The clients wanted to use as many salvaged items as possible in the landscape setting which I fully supported.

Intentionally low maintenance, the predominantly hardscape/ paving design incorporates an outdoor kitchen, log store, room for vehicles to turn, adequate drainage from the snow melt, and plants that look after themselves despite the -30 to +40 degree temperature range.

Work is currently underway and completion anticipated for 2017.

When the father of landscape architecture, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown retired, he was gifted by the Earl of Northumberland with the manor and manor house of Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire.

Two weeks before leaving the UK to move to Greece, the then owners of the manor asked me to design a ‘Brownian’ garden design for their young family.

As I left the country shortly after submitting the design, I have no idea whether the scheme was implemented.

With the tercentenary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown we should consider whether our contemporary landscapes will survive the test of time, and whether we are long-term planning for future generations.

As a recently graduated young designer I was thrilled to have a client who was not only Business Woman of the Year, but also gave me a carte blanche to design and construct her garden.

The oriental atmosphere and peripheral pathway with garden pavilions that linked the primary and secondary spaces of the ‘L’ shaped garden were inspired by the interior design of the home. This worked well and integrated the garden and ground floor living space, with the garden maturing as the vegetation grew.

Whilst landscape division manager at the Garden and Leisure group (shortly after graduation), I was asked to design and build a number of display gardens to showcase materials, ornamentation, planting and ‘themes’.

As the site previously had a number of display gardens as patios, pools and borders, I chose to be inspired by geographic and temporal designs. The Oriental garden with hand carved granite statues imported from China proved the most popular, although children loved the Evolution garden (with fossil wall and bubbling oil pit).

The whacky ‘kitschen garden’ was a tongue in cheek exploration of an outdoor cooking area, with an aluminium sink and fridge shelves planted with ice plants, sempervivums and herbs.

garden earithThis modern development reflected the Dutch gable vernacular architecture of the area, and was a few hundred metres away from the banks of the River Great Ouse.

As the river floods annually the design had to incorporate flood defence, flood-tolerant planting and materials that could survive flood inundation.

The mulch in the lower terrace of the garden was made entirely of cockle shells, brought up river from the Wash.

The upper level deck terraces were gated and as the clients had a young family, access to each successive terrace was limited according to the age of the child.

Timber sleeper raised beds were built with a sluice gate recess to block and advancing waters.

Sited on the edge of the black fen, Bury was once within the miniature kingdom of the Ramsey Abbey Banlieu. This property was predominantly Victorian and lovingly restored.

The garden design integrated the driveway and approach (including a lime tree walk), to the orangery and the front garden, using a variety of natural stone and fired clay materials.

The huge urns were handmade, imported from Crete.

This design was a surprise birthday present from wife to husband. The brief was to have a low maintenance, high impact garden with year round colour.

Thankfully Carolyn’s husband was thrilled with the design and the project was constructed.

Ermine Street is the old Roman road that ran from London, through the Roman Fortification of Godmanchester on the south bank of the River Great Ouse, and where, on the north bank, the Anglo-Saxon town of Huntingdon was founded.

This garden site was a ground floor flat in Huntingdon’s old Workhouse, a Grade II listed building, behind which ran the the railway line linking London to Edinburgh.

With such varied history, the front garden design was eclectic, using salvaged and re-used materials including timber sleepers (not taken from the railway despiite local rumour!), roman style quarry tiles and eighteenth century reclaimed yorkstone slabs.