the Garden Design Company Scotland


Which home improvements add most value? 

New research shows two-thirds of us believe the garden’s the deciding factor when buying a property.

Some 66% of prospective buyers in Britain say the garden is vital to their decision on whether or not to buy a house, according to a survey by online trade recommendation service Rated People, while estate agents advise that a garden can increase a property’s price tag by up to 20%.


Garden 1


Designing gardens is what I do but some gardens have involved taming the environment against all odds.

This is a garden that I have worked on for the last ten years with my dear friend and colleague Tom MacDonald. If you ever drive along North Deeside Road and think “wow look at that garden!”  it is no doubt because it will have been lovingly tended  by Tom.


This estate is on an incredibly exposed site where the wind beats the vegetation relentlessly and pulls all the moisture out of the soil. It is rabbit infested and has very little depth of soil at all …BUT – the views are absolutely stunning!

These pictures show you what you can create in almost impossible circumstances!

Garden 2


As you can see from the 'before' pictures, I am not scared of a challenge and neither were my clients, in this case.  They wholeheartedly embraced my design and together, with the help of a very experienced building team, we transformed this space. Nothing stood in our way not even several meters of rock! 

There was barely a level piece of ground, before, which rendered the garden unusable. The key was therefore to make it level where ever possible and then we dealt with privacy issues, wind barriers, and making the garden a fresh, light and fun space to use and be in.



Garden 3

A beautiful example from the Arts and Crafts period, the house belonging to this garden had been lovingly restored to its former glory by its owners.

They knew that the garden space around the house deserved the same loyalty to the period from which it originated.  Attention to detail was extremely important, as was my understanding of the period that the house related to. 

The idea was not to replicate something from the past but to understand the essence of this period and build a garden that pays respect to this but makes the space wholly appropriate for today’s living.

Garden 4


This was not necessarily an unattractive garden before we got to it and it had some very mature planting, which was of value. The frustrating aspects of it from the owners point of view was that there was nowhere big enough to sit on the level. They would land up sitting on a bench, on a slope on a section of the driveway – not exactly comfortable !


The solution was to extend the upper patio close to the house in a medium that was relatively easy to use for construction purposes. This area gets full sun for most of the day and when it comes to the evening, they simply move down to the arbour seat and patio and enjoy the privacy provided by the trellis work and planting. We managed to save most of the large Rhododendrons and a beautiful Pieris and plant them in the new garden. They look a little bare just now but already there is a fantastic amount of new growth on them.

The new, re-positioned and widened driveway is now completely separate from the garden, and the convenience of having a turning bay and a parking bay makes entering and exiting easy and practical.

Beechgrove Garden


Beechgrove Garden Community Garden Projects

Having been a guest designer for Beechgrove Garden since 2001, I have been involved in numerous projects and it has been hard to choose which community gardens to show.  However the deciding factor simply came down to my ability as a photographer!  So to all my other community gardens, please don’t be offended as you were all equally important to me.




A walled garden, right by the sea, no need for a water feature in the garden! Once a disused and neglected space to a learning ground for the young members of J.A.P.E.S. and a wonderful entertainment space for the community to have fun in.







Just beside the wonderful village of Rhynie which has been untouched by time and snuggled in at the foot of Tap ‘O Noth this is a woodland site called Moss Wood. This was a wetlands area planted with sitka spruce as a school garden project nearly fifty years ago.  Over the years the sitka spruce became unmanageable and because of the shallow root formation and the wet ground many of them were blown down, making the area dangerous for the village children to be in as the trees were falling down. In consultation with the Forestry Commission the decision was made to fell the Spruce and rejuvenate the woodland with appropriate planting and structure so the community can enjoy the space and for the school to use it as an outside classroom.

After the trees were felled
The design installed and the site is given new life
After the trees were felled
The design installed and the site is given new life

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