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Design Masters: Landscape Architects

The age where landscape architects were the preserve of the aristocracy and their stately homes has passed. We present a selection of the best in the business.

Landscape design is more relevant and accessible than ever before. Here in the UK we are privileged with a long and celebrated history in this area, producing leading figures such as Capability Brown and recently Christopher Lloyd. The age where landscape architects were the preserve of the aristocracy and their stately homes has passed.

Shows such as RHS Chelsea have helped promote the benefits of this discipline and today homeowners are as likely to hire an landscape architect as an interior designer. Now considered a natural extension of the home’s design, our gardens have become a focal point and a sanctuary from which we can escape the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. This is no more true than in our cities. Whether you have a small roof terrace or lucky enough to possess a garden, homeowners have become increasingly more aware and adventurous in this area.

1. Luciano Giubbilei

“With each garden, with each project we are going deeper into the understanding of ourselves. As in life, we take courage to move forward from our own image of what people think we are or in fact what we believe ourselves to be.”  Luciano Guibbilei

Luciano Guibbilei established his company in 1997 after studying garden design the Inchbald School of Design. Known for his understated elegance and serene creations, his gardens are influenced by the classical Italian heritage of proportion and light. With over 13 industry awards including Best in Show for his third Laurent Perrier Garden at RHS Chelsea in 2014, Luciano is considered among one of the world’s foremost landscape architects.

Based in London, Luciano’s commissions are wide reaching and he has completed projects in the US, Europe, Asia and Northern Africa.

A noted author on the subject of garden design, his two books, ‘The Gardens of Luciano Giubbilei’ and ‘Nature and Human Intervention’ were well received and portray his celebrated personal projects alongside many of his collaborations.


2014: ‘Best in Show’  & Gold Medal RHS Chelsea 

2012: Best International Garden (Cap d’Antibes) – BALI

2011: Gold Medal  – RHS Chelsea

2010: Best use of Lighting & Principle Award – BALI

2007: Supreme award & Best Residential Garden – BALI

2006: Best Residential Garden & Best Use of Lighting – BALI

2002: Best Residential Garden – BALI

1999: Principle Award – BALI.

Collaborating Artists:

  • Nigel Hall, RA
  • Keiichi Tahana
  • Andrew Ewing
  • Stephen Cox
  • Peter Randall-Page
  • Ursula Von Rydingsvard

2. Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf was born in Haarlem, the Netherlands on October 27th 1944. Now at 68, Piet has confessed to only feeling truly free in his work 5 years ago when he realised that “your freedom as a designer is restricted only by knowledge.”

His early work was influenced by Dutch designer Mien Ruys, arguably the most prolific Dutch garden designer in the post war period. Today he is noted for being a leading figure in the ‘New Perennial Movement’, using bold herbaceous perennials and grasses chosen for their structure as well as ethereal palette and ecological qualities. A long time advocate for sustainable design, Piet often uses plants that provide positive benefits to the local ecology and insect life once their life is over.

The majority of Piet’s commissions have been in the UK and in mainland Europe. Recently however, the designer has been spending an increasing amount of time in the USA. Starting in 2001 with the Lurie garden at the Millenial Park in Chicago, Piet has also worked on the horticultural master plan for the Battery at the tip of Manhattan, New York. The success of this brought arguably his highest profile commercial commission when he was tasked with designing the ‘High Line’ alongside Field Operations landscape architects in 2009.


2015: Kew Guild Honorary Fellowship

2014:Awarded with the Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds Price for his contribution to the culture of garden and landscape design.

The Maaskant Price for lifetime contribution to landscape architecture

2012: Honorary Fellowship of the RIBA

2010: Award of Distinction in recognition of that individual’s unique contribution to the profession of landscape design – Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

Lucy G.Moses Preservation Award. In recognition of the planting design for the restoration of the High Line.

European Garden Award for the contribution on Trentham Gardens, Stoke on Trent, England and the High Line, New York, USA

2009: Dalecarlica Award 2009 given by the Swedish Park commissioners

2004: Award for Excellence in Design – Art Commission of the city of New York

2002: The Gold Veitch Memorial medal – Royal Horticultural Society

2000: Gold Medal & Best in Show – RHS Chelsea

3.  Andy Sturgeon

Renowned for his contemporary style combining innovative planting and sculptural characteristics, Andy Sturgeon’s gardens are admired and revered the world over. Having established his practice in 1998, he was named one of the UK’s top ten landscape designers by both the Sunday Times and House & Garden Magazine.  He has won 6 Gold medals at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show and also ‘Best in Show’ in 2010.

Andy has presented gardening programmes for all the major terrestrial channels including Chelsea Flower Show for the BBC since 2004.  He is a freelance journalist and has been a columnist for the Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Sunday Times. He also contributes to the Daily Telegraph and Financial Times.

His first book, ‘Planted’ introduced the world of garden publishing, he provided an innovative approach and unique outlook on planting was widely acclaimed both here and abroad.  His second book, ‘Potted’ was considered integral in revitalising the tarnished image of indoor plants.  A book on garden design, ‘Big Plans, Small Gardens’ was published in Spring 2010 and continues to be a bestseller.


2014 Society of Garden Designers Awards

2013 British Association of Landscape Industries Principal Award

Gold Award Suncheon Bay Expo, South Korea

2012 Horticultural Excellence Award Singapore Garden Festival

Singapore Garden Festival

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

2010 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Gardening World Cup, Nagasaki, Japan

Putrajaya Garden Festival, Malaysia

Association of Professional Landscapers

2009 British Association of Landscape Industries Awards

Future Gardens

American APLD

British Association of Landscape Industries

2008 Association of Professional Landscapers

Singapore Garden Festival

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

2007 British Association of Landscape Industries


2006 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

2005 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Society of Garden Designers

Design and Decoration

2004 Design and Decoration

British Association of Landscape Industries

2003 Westonbirt International Festival

2001 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

1998 RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

4. Wilson McWilliam Studio

Wilson McWilliam Studio, headed by  Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam, is one of the country’s leading garden design practices. Based in London their practice works mainly across South East England although they have completed many projects internationally at both garden and landscape scales.

Andrew Wilson is a founding Director of The London School of Garden Design as well as a noted lecturer and author. A former Vice Principal of the Inchbald School of Design, he currently acts as an external examiner for Plumpton College, University of Brighton. He is Chief Assessor for the RHS for show gardens and a fellow and former Chairman of the Society of Garden Designers, the UK’s professional body for garden design.

As an author, Andrew writes a regular column for Gardens Illustrated and contributes to the RHS journal The Garden. His series of books, written with Mitchell Beazley include, ‘Influential Gardeners’, ‘The Book of Garden Plans’ and the ‘Book of Plans for Small Gardens’. He is also the founding editor of The Garden Design Journal. 

Gavin originally studied Fine Art and brings a conceptual and artistic ethos to the commissions their practice undertakes. He is a Chartered Member of The Landscape Institute and registered BALI designer.


2015: Silver Gilt, RHS Chelsea

2014: Gold Medal & Best in Show, Singapore Garden Festival

Silver Gilt, RHS Chelsea

2013: Grand Award, Best Large Garden & People’s Choice, SGD Awards

2012: People’s Choice & Communal Outdoor Space, SGD Awards

Gold Medal, APLD

2011: Grand Prize, Suncheon Bay Garden Expo

2009: Soft Landscaping, BALI

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