Masters of Design: Tom Stuart-Smith











“At night, the lights of the M1 and M25 encircle us like a bright necklace of sodium and in the hedge at the bottom of the garden you are as likely to encounter an abandoned fridge or cluster of empty beer cans as you are a foraging badger. But despite the noise and the dumping it remains a remarkable enclave of beauty, hanging on by a thread.”

– Opening excerpt from The Barn Garden; Tom and Sue Stuart-Smith


The Barn Garden. Photo by Marianne Majerus



Recognized Style: Ability to mix the prairie style with traditional English for a common theme of juxtaposition and contrast.  Tom’s style is loose allowing garden inhabitants to follow their own path and gaze compared to forcing focal points.

Norfolk Garden. Photo by Jerry Harpur


Accolades: An 8 time gold medal winner, and 3 time best in show designer at the Chelsea Flower show. First living gardener with an exhibition of work at the Garden Museum, London in 2011.

Chelsea Dhow Garden 2008. Photo by Andrew Lawson


Gardens of Note: Queen’s Jubilee Garden, Windsor Castle (public).   Trentham, Staffordshire (public),  Cheshire Garden (Private, seen in House & Garden Oct 2012 and Gardens Illustrated Issue 193).

Cheshire Garden. Photo by Marianne Mejerus


Will also like Piet Oudolf, Dan Pearson, Roy Diblik

Trentham. Photo by Allan Pollokmorris


Must Read: The Barn Garden; Tom Stuart-Smith, Sue Stuart-Smith.   Garden Designers at Home: The Private Spaces of the World’s Leading Designers; Noel Kingsbury


Favorite Plants in Design:  (1) Buxus sempervirens (2) Hakonechloa macra (3) Carpins betulus (cloud pruned) (4) echinacea purpurea


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