Secret Gardens Design was formed in 2000 and is run by Carolyn and her partner Robin Torrie.
Carolyn was born in Edinburgh into a family of keen gardeners. She grew up in Inveresk village on the outskirts of Edinburgh surrounded by beautiful gardens including the National Trust’s Inveresk Lodge. She became a garden designer after completing a Ph.D. in European History.
Robin has worked in landscaping since 2006, initially working for himself and then as the manager of the landscape section of the award winning landscape and water features specialist, Water Gems. He has taught on the Landscape Architecture Masters course at Edinburgh University and all the award winning gardens on this website were built under his expert guidance.
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.
Carolyn’s designs range from small courtyard spaces to large country gardens. She provides a full design service including overseeing the construction and planting of each garden. Increasingly she works alongside architects as part of the wider design team as clients seek to ensure the design and functionality of their garden matches that of their house.
Her design style is rich in planting with a contemporary twist to structures and hard-landscaping features. She seeks elegant solutions to practical problems and creates peaceful gardens which give pleasure and solace in an often abrasive world. Sustainability is key to Carolyn’s designs, their construction and their maintenance and she strives to steer clients towards designs which are gentle on the environment.