I graduated from the London College of Garden Design in July 2015 with distinction with my final project ’A Sussex Dower House’ being shortlisted for the Society of Garden Designers – Student Awards.
9 Princes Gardens, West Acton
Previously the global marketing director of an international technology firm, I decided to follow my passion and retrain as a garden designer. Having graduated with distinction from the London College of Garden Design at Kew Gardens in July 2015, I quickly started my own design practice, John Ward Garden & Landscape Design. Now pursuing my long-term ambition, I am delighted to be able to create beautiful outdoor spaces that will evolve over time and be enjoyed for many years to come.
Working closely with my clients on the design brief is an important part of understanding their requirements and aspirations. This enables me to develop initial thoughts and ideas into detailed design proposals, providing compelling visuals that bring a design to life. My business background has taught me the importance of good project management and building strong relationships with clients, suppliers and contractors alike, to enable great designs to become great gardens. There is no better feeling than seeing a design come to life and have a delighted client at the end of the project – something that I strive for with every design.
In 2016, I designed my first show garden in collaboration with Tom Massey. Our ’Border Control’ garden, supported by UNHCR, was awarded an RHS Gold Medal and the coveted Best Conceptual Garden at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2016. I am also a pre-registered member of the Society of Garden Designers, the only body representing professional garden designers in the UK and in 2015 my design for ‘A Sussex Dower House’ was shortlisted in the annual SGD Awards.
This small courtyard style garden in Balham was an unloved, bare patch of earth before the new owners moved in and had very little privacy due to being overlooked on all sides. The clients, who were carrying out extensive house renovations, wanted a garden that would match the contemporary style and high end finish of the new interior while providing a relaxing place for al fresco dinning and entertaining friends.
New white rendered walls, topped with western red cedar slatted trellis provide a contemporary feel to the garden whilst adding height, while four pleached ornamental pear trees planted along the most overlooked boundary provided additional privacy and seasonal interest.
Bespoke cedar benches divide the main areas within the garden and provide seating for dinning as well as a more informal space to sit when friends visit.
A large sculptural feature was built to provide a focal point from the kitchen and draws the eye away from the houses beyond. The long and narrow side return was brightened up with bespoke cedar wall planters which match the trellis work and are filled with fragrant herbs.
Finally, low voltage LED lights are used to illuminate the garden and create an after dark atmosphere, highlighting the main features and providing a gentle wash of light across paving and walls.
The brief for this small garden in West London was to create a stylish garden that complemented the contemporary finish to the interior with space where the family could dine, relax and play table tennis.
A hard wood deck brought the level of the garden up to the new sliding kitchen doors while slatted fence panels hide the unsightly walls and unify the space. Artificial turf was a low maintenance option for creating a space for table tennis and a small gabion bench catches the morning sun, providing a space to enjoy a coffee and the morning papers. Pleached ornamental peer trees create an effective screen to nearby houses while shrubs and colourful perennials will soften the space come spring/summer.
Low voltage LED uplighters were used to create a stylish ambiance at night, highlighting the trees and shrubs and giving a feeling of warmth, even when viewed from indoors on a cold evening.
The UNHCR ‘Border Control’ Garden was a conceptual show garden that appeared at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in July 2016. The garden was awarded a gold medal and the prestigious Best in Show for the conceptual garden category.
Co-designed with Tom Massey, built by Landform Consultants and sponsored by the UN Refugee Agency, the garden was designed to raise awareness of the refugee crisis and the risks that many people are forced to take to find sanctuary.
Tying in with the UNHCR’s campaign ‘Nobody Left Outside’, the garden emphasised the importance of providing shelter, both in the physical sense and from the psychological stresses of fleeing a conflict zone.
This small garden in Chiswick, West London was a bare patch of earth following building works at the property. The brief was to create a garden full of colour with a calming and relaxing atmosphere.
As with most small spaces the boundary treatment was paramount, especially given the existing bright orange fences. The use of slatted panels made the garden feel larger while painting this in a soft green/grey had a calming effect.
A mixture of oranges, yellows and purples within the planting scheme contrasted well with the fence and brought the garden to life but most importantly the clients were delighted with the end result.