The Graduate Gardeners Designers -
Our brilliant designers can work with you to realise your dreams...
Design is an integral, yet often undervalued element of garden development. Good design not only ensures that a garden will be a beautiful and inspiring space, but it ensures that it will remain practical, and livable.
Our three award winning, in house, designers are able to use their experience and expertise to develop the right design concept for you. They all work together in the same design room and adopt a similar approach to how an Architect’s office would operate - a principle designer but the other designers assist in the concept drawing and construction methods. This allows us to expand our ideas, knowledge and creativity with all our projects.
At Graduate Gardeners we work together with our clients to develop the initial design concepts, tailoring the design according to your taste, needs and budget. Whether you are looking to create a traditional rural idyll or an innovative, contemporary outside space, we are able to shape our concepts to suit your needs.
We believe that developing the right design concept is vital in creating the perfect garden; as a result, all of our initial design consultations are free of charge. We will arrange for one of our designers to visit your garden in order to discuss your requirements and suggest design solutions, garden styles, planting schemes and advice on existing plants.
If the work that you require is relatively easy to envisage, we will be able to supply you with a full written quotation following the initial visit, however for more involved projects our garden designers are able to offer a full site survey taking account of levels, boundaries, buildings and existing plants and structures. This enables us to accurately plan your new garden and provides you with a scaled illustration from which you will be able to visualise the completed look.
Mark studied Horticulture & Garden Design at Merrist Wood College, joining Graduate Gardeners for his middle year.
He graduated with distinction and rejoined Graduate Gardeners 25 years ago, working out on site gaining valuable experience building gardens. Mark quickly rose to the position of Foreman and ran many large and complicated jobs, before moving into the design office.
Mark has designed three Gold Medal and Best in Show Gardens At The Malvern Spring Flower Show, firstly with his ‘Chic City Space’ contemporary town garden in black slate, secondly with his ‘Youth of Old Age’ more traditional country garden, featuring Cotswold stone walling and York stone paving, and thirdly with his ‘Bringing Nature Home’ garden, demonstrating how a modern garden close to the house can drift, via cleverly placed screens, into a more naturalistic wildflower meadow and then into the countryside beyond.
He has also designed and managed projects which have won Eleven BALI Awards for Design and Build, Construction and Best Use of Lighting, in gardens ranging from £30,000 to over £1,000,000.
Mark designs gardens from Contemporary to 'Country House' style and recent projects have ranged up to £1,000,000.
He is a hugely knowledgeable plantsman and his planting style is always varied and interspersed with cleverly placed surprises.
In his spare time, he is a keen runner, and, when not at home with his wife and two daughters, he is to be found pounding the hills of the Stroud Valleys. He recently completed the Kielder Marathon, said to be Britain's Most Beautiful Race.
Ann is from an artistic background, having originally spent five years training as a wheel thrown potter, and then running her own very successful studio 'Sgraffitto Ceramics'.
She then retrained as a Garden Designer at Reaseheath College, in Cheshire, gaining an HND in Garden Design.
After co-designing a Gold Medal garden at Tatton Park, she ran her own Garden Design and Landscaping business, gaining hands on experience, before winning a Gold Medal at Blenheim Palace Garden Show.
Ann joined Graduate Gardeners in 2003, and has brought a new contemporary edge to the design team. She favours whole garden projects and has designed and project managed contracts from £2,500 to £250,000.
Ann has won Two RHS Gold Medals and one Best in Show Award, at her first attempt, for Graduate Gardeners at The Malvern Spring Flower Show. Firstly, in 2012, with her ‘Place to Reflect’ garden. The RHS judges said that this was “the sort of garden that makes the whole show worthwhile”, and secondly, with her stunning ‘Sunken Retreat’ garden in 2016.
She has also won three BALI awards for domestic garden design and construction in the under £30k, £30k - £60k and £60k - £100k categories
Ann is always sourcing and utilising new materials and particularly contemporary water features.
To complement her garden design skills, Ann has also trained in interior design enabling her to create that seamless change from house to garden, as can be seen in her BALI Award winning project.
In her spare time she looks after her son George, and, while indulging in her passion for photography, is on a mission to hunt down and photograph all of the most ancient trees in Britain./portfolio/award-winning-gardens
Ian studied Horticulture and Landscaping at Myerscough College, graduating with distinction. He joined Graduate Gardeners for his middle year and then rejoined after graduating. Having already had some site experience, he quickly became a site foreman and ran many varied projects over ten years including Chelsea Flower Show Gardens.
Unable to move into the design room as quickly as he would have liked, and spotting a gap in the market, he left to set up Genus Plant Sourcing which was a great success, although missing the landscaping, he moved on to set up Green Room Landscaping, working in the Stroud Valleys.
Ian rejoined Graduate Gardeners as a designer and contracts manager in 2011 and has brought all the skills and experience gained from his other ventures into the design room.
He project managed The Gold Medal and Best in Show Garden at The Malvern Spring Show in 2012, and has designed and managed numerous projects to date, both large and small.
He has a huge plant knowledge and his procurement skills and extensive contacts are invaluable.
When not helping his wife keep their two young children in order, Ian is to be found on the river bank, casting a fly, and hopefully catching one or two for the pot.