Oliver Rutman

Oliver runs a small award-winning studio undertaking work in London and the South East of England. We believe that plants are key in creating atmosphere in gardens. Our horticultural expertise allows us to design imaginative planting schemes that ensure there is year round interest in every garden.
Awards include: People’s Choice Award for the Exotic Border at Belvoir Flower and Garden Festival
Current projects include: City gardens in Tufnell Park and Chelsea. Rural projects include a border in the historic town of Winchelsea East Sussex.

Instagram: oliver_rutman





Oliver has always loved the natural environment. He started his career in horticulture at the internationally renowned Great Dixter House and Gardens in East Sussex. Here Oliver developed his understanding of succession planting, garden management and the importance of biodiversity. Known for its imaginative planting and experimental combinations, Dixter has inspired Oliver’s interest in unusual plants and creative combinations.

Oliver studied Garden Design at London College of Garden Design based at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Shortly after graduating Oliver designed and built a show border at The Belvoir Flower and Garden Festival which was awarded ‘People’s Choice Award’.

Oliver has assisted MSGD and RHS Award winning designers on their projects and Chelsea Show gardens. Experiencing the exceptional detail involved in the design, planting and hard landscaping has given him an excellent eye in his own designs.

Keen to continue learning, Oliver has attended symposiums at Beth Chatto’s Garden (Essex), Parham House (Sussex) and Bergamo (Italy). Oliver has travelled widely looking at landscapes and the flora they contain. His most recent trip has been to the cloud forests of Peru.


Award Winning Exotic Border

The LCGD ran a competition to design a 2.4m x 2.4m raised bed for the Belvoir Castle Flower and Garden festival. My design was chosen by the judges, Jo Thompson and Andrew Fisher Tomlin.

At the show my border was given the ‘Peoples Choice’ award.

The theory behind the border:

The border represents part of a larger south facing border in an urban garden. It is designed for clients that like to travel and want this summer border to reflect their interest. They have a small greenhouse to overwinter some of the more tender plants.
Inspired by the Exotic Garden at Great Dixter, this border combines exotic and unusual plants. The diverse range of plants show how exotic foliage can be incorporated into a British summertime border.

Creation of a wild flower meadow

Tufnell Park Garden

I was approached by a family who were renovating a property in Tufnell Park to design their back garden (9 meters long 5 meters wide).

The family said they wanted a garden that they could entertain in and also was good to relax in on the weekends. They also wanted privacy as the garden currently has very low walls around it allowing the neighbours to see right into the garden.

I decided that the design needed to use the space efficiently but also help to make the garden seem bigger than it was. I have achieved this by putting a spacious terrace by the house that leads to a seating area that is sounded by planting. There also is a garden store at the side by the house. The large border and hedge at the back with feature trees to make a focal point at the end of the garden and drew your eye down it.

The outline design is attached below as well as photos of the current state of the site now. The project is due for completion in October 2019.


Renovation of a lime walk in East Sussex

Light well in North London

This small space (3m x2m) leads off the kitchen at a house in North London. The corten steel troughs are filled with a planting combination that provides year round interest. The mirror enhances the feeling of space.