The best garden designers and landscapers in Britain

The surroundnigs of a beautiful country house are as important as its buildings — something that the best garden designers in Britain all understand.

We’ve completely revised and updated our list of the finest of them all.

More from the Country Life Top 100:

‘It makes a lot of sense to have the landscape designer in the team from the outset, to be involved with the architect in masterplanning the site, including garages, outbuildings, swimming pools, tennis courts and so on, ensuring they are in the best possible location and to maximise the opportunities for the garden to run out from the house,’ says garden designer Graham Lloyd-Brunt.

An initial feasibility meeting on site to talk about ideas will allow a designer to determine the potential and scope of a project, plus rough costs involved.

The next stage is the development of an initial creation of a masterplan before the agreed design and specification are prepared for contractor tendering and more formal costing.

A designer’s fee could be fixed or calculated as a percentage of the project cost – a rule of thumb percentage is about 15%–20% for the design and project management, but, of course, much depends on the scale and complexity of your project.

Jane Brown Associates — NEW ENTRY

With a wealth of experience under her belt, Jane Brown has been designing and implementing garden projects across the UK for more than 25 years. Known primarily for country gardens in historical settings, she has a flexible approach to creating bespoke designs. ‘I tend towards naturalistic and free-flowing planting, but it is important to me to listen to my clients and produce a garden that responds to their desires,’ she says. This is evident in her portfolio of projects, which combines a variety of styles, both traditional and modern, with stylish planting, considered structures and generous hard landscaping.

Based in East Sussex, she takes on projects across London and the South-East, that currently include gardens for large farmhouses in west Berkshire and West Sussex, an Arts-and-Crafts home in Surrey, a Georgian property in Kent and consultancy for a large country estate in East Sussex.

07894 427114;

Credit: Jane Brown Associates / Amanda D’Arcy

Butter Wakefield Garden Design — NEW ENTRY

Known for magical designs brimming with plants, Butter Wakefield heads a small multi-award-winning studio in west London, taking on projects across the capital and the South. American by birth, Mrs Wakefield moved to London in 1988, working as an interior-design assistant at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler before setting up her own practice. She credits this experience with deepening her understanding of design, form, scale, texture and colour, evident in her gardens, which skilfully blend soft and romantic pollinator-friendly planting with carefully considered hard landscaping.

Current projects include the reimagining of a garden for a family house in East Sussex, featuring a gravel garden, wildflower meadow, terrace with deep herbaceous borders, cutting garden with oak-sleeper raised beds and a re-developed orchard. She is also working on interior designer Rita Konig’s garden in Notting Hill, London W11, which will be shown as part of her gardening-design course on Create Academy launching in 2024, and on a garden for interior designer Joanna Plant.

‘I enjoy working alongside interior designers, because it is possible to achieve such an uptick in design detail and coherent colour,’ Mrs Wakefield says.

07973 516149;

Marian Boswall

Leading landscape architect and plantswoman Marian Boswall is known for a strong understanding of how a garden relates to both the house and the land beyond — and also for planting that feels natural to the site. She works on large-scale regenerative landscapes, from wetlands and lakes to woodlands and wildlife-habitat creation. Current projects include a new winery in Kent, a joint venture between Hatch Mansfield and Champagne Taittinger, with habitat creation for many species, including the rare turtle dove.

020–7305 7153;

Marian Boswall 3

Credit: Jason Ingram / Marian Boswall

Mazzullo + Russell Landscape Design

Since joining forces in 2014, directors Emma Mazzullo and Libby Russell have gone from strength to strength, working throughout the UK, Channel Islands and abroad. Their extensive experience allows them to take on the largest sites and a wide variety of projects. They are working in London, Surrey, Devon, Jersey, Ireland and Luxembourg on the gardens of historic and contemporary country houses, as well as roof terraces. Mrs Russell opens her garden at Batcombe House, Somerset, for the National Garden Scheme (NGS).

020–7931 9996;

An inviting garden in Devon, created
by the design duo Mazzullo + Russell. Photo: Libby Russell


With a reputation for delivering atmospheric gardens with a sense of place, Alasdair Cameron and his team pride themselves on creating completely individual gardens that bring an extra dimension to the client’s lifestyle. As a passionate plantsman, Mr Cameron looks to create designs that reflect their particular context. Recent projects include a Cheshire estate, a family-friendly London garden with multiple levels and one in Devon that incorporates native trees.

020–8969 3399;

A Cameron Gardens design. Credit: Cameron Gardens / Clive Nichols

Harris Bugg Studio

Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg run an award-winning practice known for imaginative transformations of gardens at country estates, often in areas requiring careful conservation considerations. Projects include London’s first rooftop forest, part of an urban workspace in Blackfriars, EC4, the historic walled kitchen garden at RHS Bridgewater in Salford and the return to Nature of a farm in Devon. Last year, the practice won a Gold medal and the coveted Best in Show Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for its design for a Horatio’s Garden, destined for a spinal-injuries centre in Sheffield.

01392 927172;

Horatio’s Garden at the 2023 Chelsea Flower Show, designed by Harris Bugg Studio. Credit: Andrew Sydenham for Country Life

Jo Thompson Landscape & Garden Design

Jo Thompson runs a leading architectural/garden-design studio, known for creating private and public gardens that are sensitive to their site and history, as well as intelligently planted. Projects include several large country gardens, the regeneration of the historic walled gardens at Water Lane in Kent, the planting surrounding a 16th-century house in Sussex, a roof garden in Rome, Italy, and a naturalistic garden in Connecticut, US. Restoration projects include the planting strategy at Highgate Cemetery in London with Gustafson Porter + Bowman, and a garden in Venice. Her next book, New Romantic Gardens, will be published in 2025.

020–7127 8438;

Credit: Jo Thompson/ Rachel Warne

Rupert Golby – NEW ENTRY

‘I like to create gardens that are super sympathetic to their surroundings,’ says Rupert Golby. ‘I want them to have an almost effortless appeal and adherence to a place — I don’t want to see the heavy print of a designer.’

Trained at RHS Wisley and Kew, Mr Golby is a protégé of the late Rosemary Verey and is known for classic English gardens, featuring wide borders with abundant planting incorporating a rich palette, topiary and clipped hedges. Unusually, he stays with many of his projects, developing them as they evolve over the decades, some for more than 35 years. He is also known for incorporating one-off commissioned elements in his gardens, including, famously, a quirky metalwork gate featuring old garden tools.

Projects include the gardens at Broughton Castle near Banbury in Oxfordshire, Ferne Park in Dorset and the private gardens at Daylesford House in Gloucestershire. He is involved in ongoing work at Nevill Holt in Leicestershire, site of an annual opera festival.

07785 228384

Lutyens & FitzGerald Landscape Design — NEW ENTRY

Garden designer Catherine FitzGerald and landscape architect Mark Lutyens head a small practice, specialising in designing new gardens and restoring historic ones. Their work is known for formal design, good structure and generous planting. Miss FitzGerald divides her time between London, Wiltshire and Ireland, where she has restored her childhood home, Glin Castle, Co Limerick, which she shares with her actor husband Dominic West and their children. She trained in horticulture at RHS Wisley in Surrey before working as a planting designer for Arabella Lennox-Boyd. Based in Somerset and London, Mr Lutyens is a great-great-nephew of Sir Edwin (and the editor of the collection of letters, LUT: Life in the Office of Sir Edwin Lutyens, which shines a light on his distinguished forebear’s world). His designs are known for their attention to detail and carefully structured approach.

Their projects include the re-design of the gardens at Hillsborough Castle, the royal residence in Northern Ireland, now run by Historic Royal Palaces, and the planting for a freshly imagined physic garden at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. Now at work on the restoration and rewilding of a sporting estate on the west coast of Scotland, accessible only by boat, they are also designing gardens for a medieval manor house in Derbyshire and family homes in Somerset and London.

07785 330302;

Angela Collins Garden Design

The designer specialises in creating gardens with strong architectural lines, romantic planting and elegant styling. As well as commencing planting at Woburn Abbey’s new guest entrance in Bedfordshire, she has also completed a garden in Newport, Rhode Island, US, a Mediterranean garden in Oxford and oversees ongoing work on a small estate in the Cotswolds.

07876 592440;

Arabella Lennox-Boyd Landscape Design

Well known for creating magical spaces with a calm feel, Arabella Lennox-Boyd has created more than 800 gardens worldwide and is the recipient of six RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold medals. Her work demonstrates an innate understanding of proportion and a strong sense of place and colour, which are amply evident in her own garden at Gresgarth Hall in Lancashire (Country Life , October 26, 2022). Recent projects are in town and country around the UK, as well as in Germany, Greece and the US.

020–7931 9995;

Balston Agius

Balston Agius is run by landscape/gardener designer Marie-Louise Agius with landscape architect Michael Balston acting as a consultant. The pair offers a broad range of services, with particular expertise on country estates and large-scale landscape remodelling.

01380 848181;

Dan Pearson Studio

Known for his naturalistic planting using perennial plants and grasses and incorporating native trees, Dan Pearson is a leading landscape designer, horticulturalist and writer. He recently completed a new design for Delos at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, reimagining the vision of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West for their Mediterranean-esque garden. His studio is at work in Tuscany, Italy, and in the US and has been appointed to rejuvenate the gardens at Belsay Hall in Northumberland for English Heritage.

020–7928 3800;

The south front of Lowther Castle and view of the Parterre Garden from the gardens, designed by Dan Pearson.

The south front of Lowther Castle and view of the Parterre Garden from the gardens, designed by Dan Pearson.

I&J Bannerman

Landscape of Dreams is an apt title for Isabel and Julian Bannerman’s book, given their specialisation in imaginative, magical gardens with abundant herbaceous planting among dreamy, re-created follies and gateways. They have designed gardens for The King at Highgrove and the Castle of Mey, Caithness.

James Alexander-Sinclair

Based in Oxfordshire, James Alexander-Sinclair runs a popular garden-design practice specialising in medium to large country gardens, working across the UK and abroad. Recent projects include an eight-acre end-of-life garden for Priscilla Bacon Hospice in Norfolk and private gardens across England, from the Cotswolds to Kent and Cornwall.

07515 336356;

Jinny Blom

Accomplished landscape designer Jinny Blom is known for her artistic approach to garden design, in formal or informal styles that are always appropriate for the site. Her new book, What Makes A Garden, was published last autumn by Frances Lincoln/Quarto and explores her thinking on the subject, which includes a holistic approach that considers everything from architecture to conservation. This year, she sees the launch of a new range of plant-based indoor and outdoor paints, in collaboration with Mylands.

020–3950 2899;

Kim Wilkie

Landscape architect Kim Wilkie is admired for sculpting the land, creating calm, green geometric patterns on a large scale, often in historic settings. After 25 years of running his own practice, Mr Wilkie now works as a strategic and conceptual landscape consultant. Design projects under way include a sculpture garden at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London SE21, and a redesign at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. Other work involves a number of new towns and private estates.

01489 891691;

Lloyd Brunt Outdoor Design

Graham Lloyd-Brunt is working on gardens in Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, the Lake District and Yorkshire. Enhancing existing settings and developing clients’ ideas, his projects involve large bodies of water with a great deal of yew, beech and flowering cherries.

020–7222 2777;

Graham Lloyd Brunt created a tranquil setting for this greenhouse. Credit: Graham Lloyd-Brunt

Marcus Barnett Studio

This practice has an international reputation for creating gardens and landscapes that link strong architectural forms and naturalistic planting. The creative use of a restrained palette and elements drawn from local materials and plants gives this studio a distinctive edge. Designs are often deceptively simple, yet rich in their sense of place. Projects include large private country gardens and estates, leading hotels, villas, vineyards and resorts.

020–7736 9761;

McWilliam Studio

This award-winning practice recently completed a temple landscape in Hampshire, as well as a waterside garden in Oxfordshire and the garden of a listed villa. In 2024, it is working on a 16-acre country estate and a design for a unique new dwelling near Hampstead Heath in north London.

07704 277304;

Pip Morrison Landscape Designs

Admired for his sensitive, thoughtful approach to design and expertise in the development of historic gardens, Pip Morrison redesigned the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, where a statue of Diana, Princess of Wales was unveiled in 2021. He is currently working on the master planning of the gardens at Auckland Castle, Co Durham, including the 18th-century formal pleasure grounds.

07817 736360;

Robert Myers Associates

Specialising in contemporary gardens in historic landscapes, this practice undertakes both public and private projects. The winner of six Gold medals at Chelsea, it is currently working on the landscape around Sir Christopher Wren’s historic church, St James’s, Piccadilly, London W1, and on private gardens in the capital, Cambridge, Birmingham and the Welsh Marches.

01885 227377;

Sarah Eberle Landscape Design

Hampshire-based landscape architect and garden designer Sarah Eberle is probably Chelsea’s most decorated designer, with some 19 Gold medals under her belt. Working predominantly on the design of private gardens, including large country estates, she is a passionate advocate of sustainability and the critical role of Nature in support of mental health and wellbeing.

07825 448620;

The true best in show at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2022? Sarah Eberle’s ‘Building the Future’ garden won a Gold medal — but should it have won the top award? Credit: Andrew Sydenham for Country Life

Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

Known for creating landscapes for private and public projects at home and abroad, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan is gardens adviser to Historic Royal Palaces, a lecturer and author of English Garden Eccentrics (Paul Mellon Centre, Yale University Press). His practice employs rigorous research into a place, its people and its context to represent the special qualities of a landscape. Projects include the Morgan Library & Museum, Manhattan, US.

020–3327 3780;

Tom Stuart-Smith

Planting schemes inspired by natural and semi-natural landscapes, combining modern design with prairie-style plants and grasses, have earned Tom Stuart-Smith an international following. This year, he will return to Chelsea with a garden designed for the NGS that will demonstrate the joy, as well as the associated health and wellbeing benefits, of garden visiting. In June, the Serge Hill Project, established by Mr Stuart-Smith and his wife, Sue, officially opens in Hertfordshire. This not-for-profit initiative aims to foster community inclusion through gardening and other forms of creativity.

020–7253 2100;

Xa Tollemache

With traditional gardens for large country estates her speciality, Lady Tollemache is an expert at transforming neglected landscapes. Meandering paths through clumps of lavender and roses, formal features such as obelisks and statues and dreamy ponds surrounded by lush planting are the hallmarks of her style, redolent of the garden she designed for her ancestral home, Helmingham Hall in Suffolk.

01473 890799;

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