Mount Merrion Garden – Dublin This garden is all about pared down simplicity to create strong verticals and horizontals through the use of white Birch, Multi stem Parrotia’s and untreated Cedar fence. All this is off set with sculpted lawns and Portuguese granite paving in large format. A sedum roof creates a colourful upper layer […]
Heytesbury Lane Mews Garden My own personal project, these two courtyard gardens are bursting with some of my favourite trees and plants. I wanted to create an eclectic feel, and for both the spaces to be havens of calm. There is very little flower evident, preferring a play on foliage and texture. As the garden […]
Killiney Garden, Co. Dublin This 3 acre site underwent a revamp while retaining as many existing elements of the garden as possible. The legacy of planting was very much from the 1970’s and on which we wanted to capitalise and give a twist. The large and long shrub bank to the left of the main […]
A Late Victorian Rectory, County Cork The owners were keen to preserve as much of the existing gardens and as many trees as possible. There are some beautiful and remarkable trees growing in the gardens including a listed and protected 10m high Malus floribunda (Japanese Crab apple), Arbutus unedo, Magnolia grandiflora, Juglans nigra, Taxus baccata […]
Garden design is like theatre, it’s all about capturing a mood and taming nature.
It’s about expressing in a very essential and creative way our own sense of form and texture. Whether it’s a balcony, a window box, or a collection of pots by a door – it’s about self-expression and growing things, which is endemic to all of us.
My childhood summer holidays were always spent in the west of Ireland, particularly in the southwest of Kerry, where I experienced some of the most beautiful sub-tropical gardens – among them Glanleam, Dereen, Derrynane, Rossdohan and Garnish Island.
My mother was an avid gardener and semi-professional photographer and we visited these magical places often. To me, they encapsulated fantasy, sensuality, theatre and a whole range of visceral emotions.
Although I have been gardening and working in one way or another with plants and nature since leaving school in 1980, I only began designing gardens in 2000. With over 10 years as a greensman in the film industry, working with some extraordinarily gifted production designers, helped me to gain the confidence to make a reality of my ideas.
I believe we are all innately creative. My influences are many and varied – wild places where nature runs riot, Robinsonian gardens, a cut-away bog in Westmeath, a suburban front garden, the formal cloisters of the Alhambra, even the over the top formality of Versailles. Garden design is very site-specific. As I mature and learn from my experiences and mistakes, I try not to have too obvious a signature. I respond to the needs and desires of clients and work with the landscape, nature and the atmosphere of the site. An aspect of my work that I really enjoy is collaboration, whether with architects, designers or plants people.