I was born in Edinburgh into a family of keen gardeners and grew up in Inveresk village surrounded by beautiful gardens including the National Trust’s Inveresk Lodge. I became a garden designer after completing a Ph.D. in European History.
I formed Secret Gardens in 2000 and favour a friendly, supportive approach to the design process. I am dedicated to a more natural method of gardening and landscaping which is gentle on the environment.
For larger projects where I am commissioned not only to create the design but also to see through the construction, I base my fees on the percentage of the total construction cost of the project. For smaller projects I charge an hourly rate.
As every project is unique, do please contact me to discuss your requirements, costs and fees.
I provide a full design and build package but I am also happy to provide a design-only service or garden mentoring where a full design package is not required.
At an initial meeting I take a comprehensive
client brief to understand the client’s requirements, the site restrictions and budgetary considerations. I then develop a pencil drawing of the design to discuss with the client. Plans are drawn up of the agreed design, construction detail is specified and the project is ready to be priced.
Project management begins with the pricing process, making sure the right people at the right price will build the garden. I check contracts are created, a timetable is set out and then the work commences! I remain in touch with the project throughout ensuring the design is interpreted correctly and built to the right standard.
As the garden is being built and the design becomes a reality, I work with the clients on the planting design. I select plants, source them, and plant them, ensuring there is good soil preparation and appropriate planting for the site and local climate. I advise on maintenance and am happy to return periodically as the garden develops.