Garden Design


Nobody ever created an interesting garden by being timid

In fact, in our opinion, nobody ever created anything of interest by being timid. Being bold – massive swathes of the same plant, rows, avenues, stilted hedges, planting trees that get ‘too big’ and plants in the ‘wrong’ place – requires, we admit, a degree of recklessness, courage and confidence. If you feel you may be positively predisposed to such a concept, we can help. Our job is to encourage people to do interesting things with their gardens. If you feel you may be teetering on the edge of doing something interesting, please allow us to at least talk to you about giving you a shove over the edge.

The creation of wonderful places using plants is threaded through everything we do. It’s in the choice of plants we grow, the way we present them on the nursery, the advice we dispense and the ideas we propose every day. Architectural Plants is about shape – an obsession with the sculptural qualities of plants, where strong, eye-catching outlines, delicious textures and combined shades of green rule. Much air is consumed on the subject of garden design and the implication is clear: all you need for a great garden is a great design – one based on bold ideas, sound principles and a high degree of coherence. We can design a garden for you that observes all of these vital principles.


Before going any further, here’s a good opportunity to emphasise the nature of the kind of gardens we do. In terms of size, we can design anything from courtyards and city roof terraces, to country homes and estate gardens; no job is too big or small. It could be formal or it could be exotic, but within that spectrum the emphasis will always be on the sculptural: strong, eye-catching shapes, beautiful textures and bold use of plants. It’s all to do with shape, shade, texture and definition – it’s not just about colour. Trying to have an engaging conversation with our owner, Guy, about colourful herbaceous borders could be an unrewarding experience; however, get him on avenues, pleached hedges, groves, outrageous topiary and serious jungles and things could get interesting. In short, we only use our plants, so if you like the nursery, you’ll like your garden.

We rarely use drawings. The process is organic and customer-centred, with a hands on approach that ensures you’re a part of the journey from start to finish. Below is an outline of the design process.


1. You discuss your ideas with one of the sales team.

2. Our Design Manager, Debbie, will put you in touch with one of the designers.

3. They will visit you for a modest fee, based on their time (including travel).

4. A proposal follows, including a summary of your meeting, plant suggestions and the total cost of the plants, planting and irrigation (where applicable).

5. At this point we will invite you to the nursery to go through the design in greater detail and show you the actual plants that we will be using.

6. If you agree, a planting date is set, the plants are selected and you’re invoiced (just for the plants at this stage).


7. The designer and planting team will arrive on the specified day and the plants will be positioned – a bit like designing on the ground, instead of on a piece of paper.

8. Once you’re happy with the arrangement, the beds will be reshaped where necessary and the planting will begin.

9. Once planted, an irrigation system is installed (this is optional, but we always recommend it), new edges are cut, mulch is applied and everything is left looking lovely.


10. You’re invoiced for the planting, irrigation system, mulch, etc., and left in peace to enjoy your garden.

11. We remind you that it doesn’t necessarily end there: creative maintenance, plant advice and horticultural expansion are all right up our street.



Debbie Boxall is our Garden Design Manager. She has been working in horticulture for over 15 years and originally specialised in aquatic plants. In fact, on occasion, she can still be seen in a wet suit (when she’s not surfing that is) up to her neck in pond weed. She also finds time to squeeze in the odd marathon or three.

Debbie has been at Architectural Plants since 2011 and is our lead Garden Designer. She puts her energy for life into the gardens she creates. She is extremely versatile in both budget and concept, designing small courtyards and roof terraces to large country gardens. She listens to her clients and creates beautiful architectural gardens that reflect their needs. Debbie’s approach to garden design is client-led. She listens to what you envisage for your garden, how you use or intend to use your space and what styles you like most in plants and design. Debbie is hands on and will be on site from conception through to completion, communicating with her clients all the way.

Niwaki planted and looking gorgeous. We love her! You were fantastic and did such a quick and efficient job. Our thanks again for ensuring the job was done in time for our anniversary”


Amy Robertson is an award-winning garden designer, winning a Silver-Gilt and People’s Choice Award for a garden she designed with two fellow designers at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2015.

Amy is an experienced garden designer and horticulturalist, with over 12 years in the industry. She trained at Brinsbury College before working with the Garden Team at Nymans National Trust and later in a sales role at a local nursery. Amy went on to establish her own successful garden design and maintenance business before joining the growing Architectural Plants team in February 2017.

Amy graduated from the Garden Design School in 2013 and has since worked on a variety of projects from courtyard gardens to large country gardens.  Amy’s passion is using shrubs, grasses and herbaceous plants in a contemporary way but always with an eye for the architectural.

We can’t tell you how delighted we both are with our fabulous planting scheme – you’ve given us our dream garden. I just had to message you tonight to let you know we are thrilled”


Owner, Guy, has been building and designing gardens from an early age. University holidays were filled working with Angus before graduating to co-found a horticultural charity for young people that focused on residential and urban projects.

At A.P, Guy has specialised in managing larger landscaping projects and installations. He has led multiple award-winning RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show gardens, a planting installation for the Burberry flagship store, multiple projects working with a variety of London-based property developers and a long list of residential designs and builds.

He brings a wealth of practical knowledge to the construction of his designs, planning for an immediate result but with a strong emphasis on considering the garden’s maturing feel. Guy wants evolving spaces with a bold structural scheme filled with a concise and impactful pallet of homegrown or rare specimens. It’s a dynamic and personal approach to your garden for the adventurous or experimental customer. If you want to try new things, Guy will unleash your garden’s potential.

We half-heartedly described our thoughts with Guy, but within minutes were swept up in his passion for his work and enthusiasm for the project. The longer we spoke to him, the greater our excitement grew”


To take the next step with your Garden Design, Planting or Creative Maintenance plans complete our design enquiry form opposite and one of our team will get in touch.

There is the option to attach any plans you have available and photos of your garden that include the following: the garden from the house, the house from the garden, from upstairs, from downstairs, your neighbours’ gardens and most importantly, views of the access.

For all other general enquiries visit our contact page.

Structural Planting and Garden Design

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