A London-based garden designer, Tabi aims to connect people with nature through colourful, nurturing and beautiful outdoor spaces. From city roof gardens to larger rural landscapes, these are spaces designed to be lived in.
With a taste for combining the classical with the contemporary, inspired by growing up in rural Northamptonshire then spending much of the last decade working as a travel and fashion journalist, Tabi loves the collaborative elements of working closely with her clients to create engaging and enjoyable outdoor spaces.
An author, journalist and Country Life regular, Tabi also writes features about gardening, green spaces and travel for The Financial Times Weekend, Ideal Home, The Telegraph, Grazia, Vice, Refinery29 and Conde Nast Traveller.
Tabi also is part of Dream for Trees, an organisation set up during lockdown in 2020 with the sole aim of planting mini forests in urban areas, helping improve air quality, provide habitats for wildlife and help improve our city environments.
Since 2017 Tabi has worked as a garden designer in London, Surrey and Northamptonshire. During this time she also boosted her experience working alongside some brilliant designers on design, build and maintenance jobs, indulging her passion for plants whilst learning about the practical skills required to deliver a successful garden.
Prior to this, Tabi was a successful journalist and editor, writing for some of the UK’s most respected newspapers and magazines. Mainly covering fashion, culture and travel, she has also worked as a consultant and copywriter.
Tabi worked with architecture practice Youngman Lovell on this wonderful new art gallery and event space in Berkshire. Previously a an old Milking Parlour on a dairy farm, the overgrown and disused site was carefully brought back to life with the skills of local carpenters and other creatives.
Wild and untouched, the design looked to bring colour, texture and movement to the landscape; the final iteration followed the curves of an oak leaf (in honour of the site’s ancient resident oak) and the planting and landscaping pool together around a large pond, with nearby space for seating and groups to gather.
The space will be used for everything from supper clubs to art exhibitions and the planting will be adapted for years to come while it continues to settle into its new home. Cornus, Miscanthus and Phlomis all jostle for space whilst creating a connection with the landscape beyond.
Charlotte – of cult fashion label Charlotte Simone – entrusted Tabi with designing the garden whilst renovating her new home in Primrose Hill.
Charlotte’s brand is renowned for its playful use of texture and colour – so her garden needed to incorporate that too. A tumbley, loose, country garden feel helped make the garden welcoming whilst a mix of classic cottage garden plants paired with more unusual varieties kept the planting scheme modern.
A low key, atmospheric lighting scheme was drawn up to enhance the garden at night and during winter, while random laid sandstone paving gave the space an instant feeling of having always been there.
*This project is currently being built, more images to follow.
A spacious, neglected Brixton garden needed an area for entertaining, privacy, room for relaxing and above all a much improved view from the client’s glass-fronted new extension.
Specimen trees were added for interest, alongside hedges for screening. Big, bright and colourful beds were installed to soften the view from the kitchen and a rear exterior wall was painted to bring charm and atmosphere back into the garden.
TJG Gardens undertook the whole job, from clearing the space and preparing it to the hard landscaping, planting schemes and planting.
The client had this to say about it:
“I set Tabi the impossible task of redesigning my overgrown, unmanageable and unloved South London garden last year. No small feat. What she went on to create is a million miles away from that jungle of weeds and is now without a doubt my favourite spot in the house.
The once neglected garden is now brimming with beautiful plants, flowers and trees. Tabi thought of everything; thorough landscaping, newly designed outdoor seating areas and an inbuilt irrigation system means I have a very low maintenance but heavenly garden to enjoy.
She was a joy to work with and guided me through the process with so much insight and knowledge. Even when her work here was done we have continued to speak regularly about the garden and she sends me tips & thoughts on the next stage of growth. It’s been a wonderful experience working with her and I could not be happier with the results. Hire her immediately!” – Rosie Money-Coutts, Brixton
In lockdown 2020 Tabi became involved with a brand new charity set up to improve air quality in urban areas.
The charity aim to plant mini forests – that are designed to grow quickly due to select native species occupying different layers and making the most use of the light from above.
Tabi designed the charity’s first mini forest, planted in Camden in February 2021. The work was featured in the FT’s House and Home.
With artificial turf, awkward levels and a lonely shed, this space really needed some TLC. Luckily the client works in horticulture himself so was keen to have a garden full of plants and life.
With a restrained budget, we reused all the materials on site – right down to the artificial lawn which was flipped over and used as the weed suppressant layer for a new herb and gravel garden.
A water feature amongst tall grass and a pergola designed by us have given the garden privacy and space for relaxing both alone and with company.
We created bespoke outdoor furniture for this project with interior designers Studio RHD.
*This garden was built in March 2021 by Completely Green. Pictures to follow.
This small and shady garden in East Dulwich was lacking in usable space and overgrown – meaning the clients never wanted to use it.
We introduced a new design that favoured simplicity and refinement, whilst still allowing space for family and friends to relax together and for young children to run around.
Decorative screens provide vertical interest, built in seating helps them capture the sun and a discrete lighting scheme means they can enjoy the space year round.
*This garden was built in March 2021 with Outdoor Creations. Images to follow.
A small courtyard garden tucked away in Battersea needed some life and colour bringing to it, as well as providing space for evening drinks and dinner parties. We delivered a planting scheme that included scented Clematis, evergreen Laurel, dahlias, and piles of spring bulbs.
The key here was to maximise the space through structural, layered planting. Potted tree ferns introduced some scale to the garden and we also designed a small, wall-fixed herb garden – as both the clients are keen chefs.
The client had these kind words to say about working with us:
“Tabi was a joy to work with. She was quick to provide a full set of sketches and an itemised quote to help us choose an option that worked for our budget. She had taken care to include specific features that we wanted to incorporate whilst making recommendations that would bring it all together with amazing attention to detail. We had been concerned about the impact we could have with our limited budget but Tabi was able to provide guidance on where we could make savings and in doing so was actually able to help us make it stretch much further than we thought it would!
It’s no exaggeration to say that the work transformed our entire home and brought us so much happiness. Anyone would be lucky to have Tabi’s expertise in redesigning their garden and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her. If I could change anything it would only be to have done it earlier. When it came to selling our property recently viewers frequently commented on the garden and how it set the property apart from the other!” – Lydia Markwick, Battersea
A masterplan for a large Victorian Hall in North Wales. The garden had never been formally designed and complicated level changes (the house sits in a valley, in between steep woods and parkland) made this an exciting challenge.
A restaurant and events space was to be added to the site; along with a full reimagining of the private gardens the space had to work as one, coherent garden.
An extensive productive garden partially reimagined what was there before, whilst a modern terraced area, water features and outdoor pizza ’hut’ gave the design a truly contemporary edge, fit for a young 21st century family.
Winter borders and informal topiary provided scale and structure, whilst also helping create new spaces within the garden – and framing the glorious views out into the Welsh landscape beyond.
A design for a family garden in Ascot, this space was created to bring nourishment to the mind, body and spirit. A summer house for partying (or working, depending on the time of year and client’s mood….) looked out over a large pond, and nearer the house a stepped informal herb garden allowed the clients to enjoy the product of their garden on a day to day basis.
A dining terrace sat in an orchard, underplanted with meadow flowers and designed to be an attractive habitat for invertebrates and wildlife alike, and the garden was subtly fenced to seamlessly join it with the woodland beyond.
A design for a grown up family garden in Amersham. The architect clients were looking for something contemporary and intriguing, that brought their woodland-edged space into a more modern setting.
A simple material palette of granite, steel cladding and glass gave a light and open feel to the garden, whilst grasses, specimen trees and a water garden kept it in keeping with its surrounding area.