The design world is a good mix of female and male role models depending on which field you look. Fashion for example is female dominated while automotive is male dominated. Garden design on the other hand is a good mix of both parties and often sees both male and female partners working together to provide both outlooks. Here we will look at some of the women that have created a name for themselves as great designers in the UK.
Photo Credit – Andrew Montgomery
Arabella Lennox Boyd is a traditionalist garden designer who has been in the game for 40 years! She has built an international reputation for grand gardens that house large houses and she works well with a more natural landscaping. If you came across one of Arabella’s works then it would likely be in the countryside where there is a lot of land to play with. That isn’t too say her and her team cannot be versatile as they demonstrated when doing the Chelsea flower show in 2008
Acres Wild is a duo team of Debbie Roberts and Ian Smith and they work with a modern/classic style. The designs they present have a modern edge to them but they are not too formal, as some contemporary garden can be. They set the lines of modernity but allow natural to grow into them and result in a very attractive final product. The pair have been playing stylish garden designers since the late 80’s so they have a raft of experience and projects in their portfolio. Their website is worth a look for ideas if nothing else.
Photo Credit – Andrew Montgomery
Jinny Blom is like a garden designer/artist/interior designer creative person who seems to be able to turn her hand to anything style related. A look through her previous projects reveals anything from sculpture to furniture to garden design to fashion shop display arranging. With such a diverse array of projects on the portfolio Jinny is very much a swiss army knife of styling.
Photo Credit – Rachel Warne
Jo Thompson Landscape & Garden Design works in a much more contemporary way than the previous mentioned designers. While Arabella, Jinny and Acres I’m sure can pull a modern garden out of the hat it is more Jo’s specialty. Browsing through her portfolio of designs Jo uses modern sculpture a lot to make focal points in her work and like Acres Wild has a contemporary style that isn’t to formal. With anything from rooftop gardens to large stately landscapes Jo can turn her hand to anything and add some modern charm.
Photo Credit – Nicola Stocken
Kate Gould is a local and well renowned designer who is known for her stylish and modern transformations of small city spaces. She has a very modern style and tends to keep planting in built-in beds or planters which makes maintenance easier and gives a very contemporary feel. She has exhibited in many shows and has a raft of private gardens to her name that are the aspiration of many.
Sara Jane Rothwell. I have worked with Sara when she applied some of my pots to her design in London. She outfitted a restaurant space with planting and used some of my Kronen range to house interesting plants. Sara is the most modern of the bunch so far and has a really well resolves modern looks to her work with straight lines and focal features a strong part of her designs. Take a look at Sara’s website to to see how nice her stuff is.
Photo Credit – Claire Takacs
Sarah Price Landscapes is an up and coming designer that I found after doing a little research and she has a very different style to the rest mentioned so far. Whilst her site has little to go on it does provide enough to show that she offers something special and unique. Her RHS chelsea display was highly commended and had a Moroccan sort of desert feel with red earth and walls framing the plantations she had chosen. Whilst she may not have the raft of experience of the above mentions creatives I think she is one to watch for the future.
Photo Credit – Outdoor Options
Charlotte Rowe is a staple of good garden designs and Pinterest algorithms simply love her. She is constantly popping up which means that she and her designs are doing something right and on trend. When it comes to female power this is definitely a team that is fighting that corner as the entire Rowe squad is lady based. Her style is very simple and modern and often hard landscaping represents a large part of the design, though this may be because of the space available. Working frequently with a green pallet and avoiding the danger of complex colour combinations the gardens have a formal and beautiful appeal.
Sue Townsend. With a flair for modern or traditional, large or small Sue appears to be quite the talent with a pencil and trowel! Her designs are well resolved and very varied in their style so it is harder to say exactly what her style is but more that she can definitely delivery a satisfactory result no matter the brief. Having cut her teeth in the early 00’s maintaining the iconic Blue Peter garden Sue set out on her own to start delivery her skills to a more private audience.
Polly Anna Wilkinson is a designer that used some of my pots at an RHS show and won an award for her efforts. She is a talented up and coming designer that can bring a raft of styles to the table. A look through some of her work shows a talent for gardens both big and small and attention to detail that really makes a difference. Her Hampton Court flower show paving for example had brass lines instead of concrete grout! That sounds like a nightmare to lay to me but the effect was great, it looked so cool.