About the Tim Austen garden design studio

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.

tim austen garden design

Tim established his garden design studio in 2007 as a separate wing of his landscape architecture practice (Austen Associates) having realised that he had an innate passion and pent-up desire to create gardens as well as public spaces.  Having his roots firmly planted in the world of horticulture from a young age by his parents and then afterwards by his early career in both nature conservation and landscape contracting, he determined to have a strongly plant focused angle to his design work.

Tim has since overseen the design of many hundreds of gardens across Ireland (and abroad) and collaborated with his clients to create their unique places.  He has also completed the installation of five large show gardens at Bloom in the park in Dublin for which he was awarded three gold, two silver-gilt medals and two peoples’ favourite garden awards.  A dabble in television also saw him feature as a garden judge during the early days of RTÉ television’s Super garden programme.

His philosophy has always been to try and develop gardens for people that allow room for nature to breathe alongside the design requirements of the client.  Now, more than ever, his ambitions lie in the development of the best gardens for people, plants, and wildlife by attempting to design in well considered health and wellbeing aspects for people with gardens that also include a generous and well-balanced array of habitats for wildlife and, at the very least, a diverse level of flora for pollinators.

Tim provides horticultural and design insights on his personal garden design blog.  You can also connect with him on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter.

Testimonials

Tim Austen Garden Design Family Garden Malahide

“We could not be happier with Tim’s design for our garden and how it has turned out. My concern before we started this project was that it would still look just like every other garden. Tim spent quite a lot of time working with us to get a good sense of what we wanted to achieve before doing anything and was just as keen as we were to keep going back over the details and plan as necessary, until we were all absolutely satisfied that the design reflected what we personally wanted and that the garden would look exceptional. It was obvious that he really cared about the end result also. He also knew when to jump in and tell us what wouldn’t work, which was even more important. The finished product was even better than we had hoped for and is a real pleasure to look out at any time of the day, every day. There are some very well planned details playing on varying height and colour. Every two or three months it changes as new seasonal plants come through, which just adds to how good it looks. The structural landscaping also looks great. He was also regularly available at night and weekends to talk through any questions or changes we were considering as the work was taking place. We are so glad we used Tim and his team as the designers for this project. His design and ideas were well worth investing in to get it right and we would highly recommend him.”

Bryan and Maria, Malahide, Co. Dublin, 18th August 2016.

“After an initial consultation with Tim, we commissioned him and his team to design the courtyard garden space that we had created as a result of adding an architectural extension to our house.  We had strong ideas about the look and feel that we wanted to create as the architect had designed views into the courtyard from all sides:  we wanted an outdoor dining and relaxation space, it needed to look smart, with clean lines using natural stone, and have flexibility in the design for slotting in bespoke seating.  The planting needed to soften the landscape design.  Tim had to deal with awkward level changes and to contend with below ground services in his design solution but his plans and details for a series of steps and raised planters creating patio spaces at different levels were able to be implemented easily by our builder.  As Tim and his crew arrived for planting the weather became literally a deluge and we were really worried about how well the planting would take as planting conditions were far from ideal.   However, we are delighted to say that, one year on, we are truly enjoying the space especially in the fine weather and it’s been exciting watching everything come into bloom!”

C. Gardiner, Galway, 10th June, 2016
Tim Austen Garden Design Courtyard-Garden-Terenure-1

“We are delighted with the way out garden has turned out; we have a sweet, neatly organised space in which we can enjoy al fresco dining whilst watching the seasons go by through the changes in the planting.  Tim’s design and build team were at all times professional and we felt they were keen to deliver a highly polished scheme; they did and we are very pleased with the end result!”

D and M Glennon, Terenure, Dublin, 28th July 2015.

”We wanted a low maintenance family garden which complemented our renovated contemporary house but that retained the existing patio, paving and as many plants as possible. However it needed a little bit of magic to bring the whole thing together. This is where Tim came in…

Right from the outset, it was an absolute pleasure working with Tim. We found Tim professional and design centric yet practical at the same time. Tim met us and listened intently & interpreted exactly what we both wanted out of the garden. The design elements Tim came up with were simple yet inspired :-

  • The re-shaping of the lawn gives the garden an even bigger feel
  • The introduction of a couple of new paving areas pulls everything together making the patio connect with the old path & the new shed
  • The sweeps and swathes of a limited number of plant species gives a contemporary feel
  • The growing bed allows us to dabble with herb and veggie growing with our young children

Tim’s team who constructed the garden for us in a week were just as professional and pleasant to work with as Tim himself. We are exceptionally pleased with the end result. We never would have achieved this fabulous garden on our own – everything from the clever design elements to the gorgeous planting scheme. As a result we would have no hesitation in recommending Tim and his team to anyone.”

S. and G. Gogan, Churchtown, July 13, 2012
Tim-Austen-Wicklow-Front-Garden-Design-Spring-2008-3

“It is through Tim’s creativity, expertise and professionalism that we are now enjoying a beautifully designed front garden. We had very specific requirements. Tim took them all on board in his highly original and creative design for the garden. On approval of the design he delivered very professional guidelines for implementation. I would recommend Tim and his team to anyone who appreciates creativity combined with professionalism, be it for a (small) private garden or bigger developments.”

M de Boer, Wicklow town, September 7, 2010

“We engaged Tim Austen to redesign our garden. In the course of a few consultations on site Tim established our requirements for the redesigned garden and the constraints of the site. The final plan was agreed and Tim assisted us to engage a landscape contractor to implement it. We have enormously enjoyed the redesigned garden. Tim’s design has been a resounding success. In the course of the project we formed a close and productive partnership with Tim, had fun in the design and planning stages and now have beautiful, practical garden to show for it.”

G. and M. Elliott, Greystones, Co. Wicklow, November 22, 2009

Talks

Tim has given many talks on garden and landscape design to garden clubs and other interested groups and societies or as part of public events. In recent years, he has delivered talks to the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland (RHSI) annual seminar 2012, Enniskerry garden Club, Kilternan Garden Club Kenmare Garden Club and at local fundraisers in Wicklow. He has talked publically on garden design at the Northwest garden show, Donegal and at the Powerscourt Pavilion garden centre (as part of Bord Bia’s Autumn garden campaign 2012 ), as well as speaking at Bloom in the Park on the garden expert stage.

The main themes of Tim’s talks are the development of structure in the garden, using hard landscape materials effectively, practical solutions to difficult situations, such as steep slopes and integrating planting with your house and its surrounds.

Talks of 45 mins up to one hour

  1. ‘Drawing on personal experience: to inspire garden design solutions.’

    This talk focuses on Tim’s personal approach to garden and landscape design, looking at his background, experiences and influences to see how these inspire his garden design style.  The talk includes lots of nice pictures of design plans and completed projects as well as Tim’s show gardens.

  2. ‘To boldly go’ – being brave with garden design; revamping an existing garden with a new design.’

    This talk looks at the garden design process and how you can apply the professional garden designer’s approach to your own garden.  Tim illustrates the talk using garden design projects in which he has revamped existing established gardens that require a new lease of life.

  3. ‘Designing and building an award winning show garden at Bloom in the Park.’

    Tim recounts the tale of how he built his first large show garden at Bloom.  His ‘Inspiration from Mount Usher garden’ won a gold medal and peoples’ favourite at the 2008 show.  It is, possibly, the garden that is most associated with Tim’s work.  A photo journey through all the stages of the project including behind the scenes information on how the main elements were built and how the design and construction challenges were met.

  4. “How to build your Garden Designs”.

    A practical talk including how to specify and quantify hard and soft landscape materials for your garden or landscape design project. Illustrated with examples from Tim’s own work and his experiences as a landscape architect working on major construction projects.

Shorter talks lasting around 30 mins

  • Why design your garden?
  • Designing from scratch
  • Revamping an overgrown garden
  • Paving and paths
  • Choosing plants

  • Laying out flower beds
  • Water in the garden
  • Containers and pots
  • Colour succession

  • The edible garden
  • The winter garden
  • Tree selection and care
  • Gardening with wild and native plants

Haven’t got a venue for your event? Why not come to Wicklow and hold your evening in the Austen design studio. It can accommodate smaller groups of up to 15 people . Refreshments can be brought in for the occasion.