Tim has become one of Ireland’s best known garden and landscape designers through his public showgardens and media work and now with an impressive back catalogue of constructed gardens.
“People are often curious as to how I started out in garden design? I was very lucky having an inordinate amount of gardening and artistic influence around me growing up: my parents are skilled, obsessive gardeners and both sets of grandparents also gardened and took my family to visit special gardens in England on our summer vacations, such as Hidcote in the Cotswolds, a garden that I still admire greatly to this day. I just loved being outside, exploring the countryside near the Sugarloaf in Co. Wicklow, being amongst nature, making dens with my brothers and helping my parents garden and collect firewood. One summer, when I was about sixteen, I cleared and created pathways through some ferns down to a woodland stream, installed a weir as a visual centre piece and built a little viewing seat. I invited my parents down to enjoy the new space I had created little realising that this was my first foray into garden design.
From the age of about fifteen on, with a bit of a push from my parents and a desire to earn some reddies, I got a series of horticultural summer jobs in nearby private gardens. Firstly, in the wonderful Fern Hill Gardens in Stepaside, Co. Dublin developed by the late, great horticulturalist, Sally Walker and then the stately period home, Charleville House, Co. Wicklow (where I first met Helen Dillon, one of my all-time gardening heroes – she was setting out plants in the walled garden for her client and all the talk amongst the gardening staff was about the arrival of Ireland’s most famous gardening consultant). Later on, I took an interest in environmental conservation, working in the UK, which led to me completing a Masters degree in landscape management and design, before returning to Ireland to work as a landscape architect. I’d finally found my métier.
When I decided to set up my own landscape architecture business in 2007, I quickly realised that I had an innate passion and pent up desire to create gardens and so I decided to have a strongly garden design (plant) focused angle to my design work that would satisfy my desires and would hopefully result in the creation of both beautiful and functional gardens for willing clients.”
The result of Tim’s approach is expressed in many designed and constructed gardens, a flavour of which you can see in the Portfolio pages. The style of gardens is varied but the influence of Tim’s background is evident in the colours, textures and forms that he brings in to his designs, whether they incorporate bold contemporary architecture or are predominantly natural in style. As Tim says “I suppose I like to arrange and organise things up front but also leave a bit to nature in the surrounds.”