Julie Cox

I am West Sussex based garden designer, working across Sussex, Surrey and Kent.

I am particularly keen on creating gardens that work with the surrounding environment and act seamlessly as an extension to the house. With a passion for designing gardens to suit the needs and lifestyles of my clients, I come with fresh ideas, but also with a respect for tradition.

07795 361747

22 Wickham Close

Haywards Heath

West Sussex

Rh16 1UH

England

Biography

I have always been interested in horticulture, in part because my grandparents involved me in their garden and my mum was always a keen and capable gardener. I was lucky to be introduced to horticulture at a young age, although this is not the only reason I love it. I am very grateful to my family for opening my eyes to the magic and enjoyment of horticulture at an early stage.

This has meant that in later life I was able to turn a passion into a career. Having spent 25 years in IT as a Solution Architect in the airport industry, I made the decision to change career path, retrain as a garden designer and explore my passion for plants and design.

I trained at Plumpton College, under Nigel Philips and Amanda Patton, and qualified with a distinction in Garden Design. I also studied for and passed the exams to obtain the RHS Level 2 Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture at Plumpton College.

I then went on to further study at the London College of Garden Design and graduated with a distinction in Planting Design.

Still with a desire for learning and in order to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in horticulture, I am now studying part-time for the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture.

I am based in Hayward’s Heath, West Sussex and work throughout the South of England. I have a wide range of horticultural experience, and pride myself on my client-focussed, responsive approach. I am particularly keen on creating gardens which work with the surrounding environment and act seamlessly as an extension to the house. I come with fresh ideas, but also with a respect for tradition.

I am a member of both the Society of Garden Designers and British Association of Landscape Industries.

Projects

'Brighton' my Garden

Design Brief

The design was for a small Courtyard garden in Brighton, East Sussex, which was in need of an update.

Weather permitting, the client enjoyed sun-bathing in her west-facing garden and often sat at the end of the garden to make the most of the sun in this area. She also liked the idea of a raised platform in this part of the garden, but wished to retain privacy.

The preference was for a fairly low-maintenance garden, but the client was happy to potter and dead-head plants when needed.

There was also a narrow side passageway which led from the main dining area into the garden that was quite a dark and shady area in need of brightening up.

The Solution

Half-height horizontal slatted wooden fencing was selected to achieve privacy within the garden.

To create a sense of additional light in the garden and side passageway, Dolce Mijo Porcelain Paving was introduced. To complement the paving, York Green Cathedral walling with a Sandstone Buff coping was used to create the raised borders. This also provided additional seating in which to linger and enjoy the garden from different aspects and times of the day.

Space for Entertaining

The clients used this garden as a place for relaxation as well as entertaining. They also owned a dog and wanted a defined area in a part of the garden in order for her to be able to have free reign.

A fence with a gate separated part of the garden in which their dog was able to play and allowed for her to be kept their when required.

There were already two decked areas, one of which was unsafe and in need of replacement. The patio that was adjacent to the house was uneven in places and required relaying. This gave the opportunity to square off the previously diagonal shape of the patio and to create more room for entertaining.

Raised sleeper borders were introduced, which were in keeping with the existing sleepers used elsewhere in the garden. These were then planted with architectural evergreen Phormiums, Libertia and Polypodium vulgare which were then complemented with Deschampsia, Heleniums, Rudbeckias, Achilleas, Kniphofias, Geums, Crocosmia, Heuchera and Geraniums to provide seasonal interest with splashes of colour. In the spring, Tulips, Narcissi, Crocus and Alliums will start the season off.

The clients had an existing water feature which they wished to re-use, which was incorporated into one of the raised borders, close to the lower decked area and enabled them to enjoy the sound of it whilst relaxing in this area.

Lighting was also installed to enhance specific features of the garden and extend use of the garden well into the evening.

Courtyard with a View

The house was in the final stages of renovation and my clients thoughts had turned to the outside space closest to the house. There was already a small patio area where they could sit and enjoy the views, however they wished to extend this to be able entertain guests and dine in this area.

The design met the client brief, allowing adequate space for entertaining, enjoying the views beyond and making the most of the last of the suns rays before it set.

The client engaged their own landscaper and based on the Concept plan, along with their own ‘tweaks’, realised the design. They also enjoyed visiting nurseries and selecting plants and were happy to plant the borders themselves. I was invited back recently to take a look at the finished result and they allowed me to take some photos.