5 garden designers from Cheshire

Janine Crimmins; Jacquetta Menzies; Matt Nichols; Alexandra Froggatt; Louise Harrison-Holland

Janine Crimmins; Jacquetta Menzies; Matt Nichols; Alexandra Froggatt; Louise Harrison-Holland - Credit: Archant

With all these multi-million pound properties in Cheshire, it’s important you have a garden to match, here’s five of our favourite garden designers

Alexandra Froggatt

Alexandra Froggatt - Credit: Archant

Alexandra Froggatt

Alexandra can be fairly described as a success from word go, when within 12 months of launching herself onto the Cheshire garden design scene, she won a Silver Gilt medal and second place in the 2011 RHS Flower Show at Tatton.

Always creative, Alexandra’s artistic ability can be witnessed on her website in her delicate and detailed pencil drawings of her favourite flowers and in her fabulous garden creations.

Alexandra has won a number of prestigious awards and regularly worked with The Association of Professional Landscapers, who in 2014 asked her to create the garden design to be used at RHS Tatton 2014 for their World Skills young landscaper competition.

Alexandra’s awards include:

2011 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park - Silver Gilt and second place in the Young Designer of the Year

A recent garden designed by Alexandra Froggat

A recent garden designed by Alexandra Froggat - Credit: Archant

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2012 RHS London Plant and Design Show - Gold

2012 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park - Silver Gilt

2014 RHS Hampton Court Palace - Silver Gilt

Be inspired

2015 looks set to be an exciting year for Alexandra, but this won’t include any RHS gardens as she’s simply too busy! Her work with Treebox living wall systems is drawing a great deal of interest and she started the year with a 30sqm installation at Lancaster University. As the year progresses she will tackling an eight acre garden design in Cheshire, a small garden in the Cotswolds and a traditional formal garden close to home plus no doubt many more projects.

Elegantly beautiful, yet fizzing with passion for her work, Alexandra is most certainly one of Cheshire’s rising young stars.

Janine Crimmins

Janine Crimmins - Credit: Archant

Janine Crimmins

Janine Crimmins has been creating beautiful gardens across the North West since 2001, when she graduated from Reaseheath College on a high, following her win of the national award for Student Designer of the Year, which delivered her first show garden, at the Southport Flower Show.

Janine came to garden design quite simply through her love of gardens. Having given up her first career as a designer to raise her children, she set up as a gardener, but soon realised that there was more to her skill set than a hoe and trowel could satisfy. Her rapid success, including five RHS gold medals, demonstrates this to be true, as does the volume of word of mouth recommendations Janine receives.

Janine’s awards include:

2001 Student Designer of the Year

2002 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park - Silver- Gilt

A romantic scene in a Janine Crimmins garden

A romantic scene in a Janine Crimmins garden - Credit: Archant

2006 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park for BBC North West Tonight - Gold

2007 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park for The Prince’s Trust - Gold

2009 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park for the Cumbria Tourist Board - Gold

2012 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park for Mornflake, Gold & Best in Show

Janine’s appearances at RHS Tatton were all due to a recommendation from the RHS to the organisations who sought a designer for their show garden. Having come to their attention in 2002, they clearly saw her as a talent worth nurturing, although today Janine says that she’ll be stepping back from the show gardens for while. Only fair to give someone else a chance, we say!

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Janine has a powerful yet simple design ethos – ‘build to last’. She explains that her gardens must stand the test of time and be as relevant in ten years as at the moment they are conceived. Her passion for longevity influences not only her planting design, but her hard landscaping choices too, with insistence on using only local, natural materials and skilled local craftsmen.

Matt Nichols

Matt Nichols - Credit: Archant

Matt Nichols Garden Design

Matt Nichols developed an impressive career and dazzling portfolio during his first years in garden design, when he worked for internationally renowned design company Northcutt. Working alongside some of the UK’s most celebrated designers as they created medal winning show gardens at Chelsea and beyond Matt learned his trade from the best.

His love of Cheshire and desire to raise his children here brought him back north and he now runs his successful design business from his home office in Poynton.

Matt says that his design philosophy is simple: he love creating innovative outside spaces for my clients and is very much concerned with form following function. For Matt beautiful gardens must work on a practical level, stand up to the rigours of the British weather and make his clients feel great every time they engage with it.

Matt’s awards include:

This Matt Nichols garden offers a view, and a place to appreciate it. Photo by Sally Evans Photograp

This Matt Nichols garden offers a view, and a place to appreciate it. Photo by Sally Evans Photography. - Credit: Sally Evans Photography

2003, 2004, 2005, 2006: Member of show team at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

2008 Planting Consultant at Chelsea for the Courtyard Garden ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ - Silver Gilt

2012: Northern Design Awards - Garden Designer of the Year

Be inspired

2015 is already looking like an exciting year for Matt, with gardens ranging from a modern intimate roof terrace to a large scale, formal garden for a Grade II listed building - complete with a large 14m wide circular reflecting pool and fountain!

The year will also see Matt’s first entry to RHS Tatton. He says that while he has been designing real gardens for many years - over 600 to date in fact - helped stage five show gardens for other designers, he has never yet actually needed to stage a show garden of his own design. This year, for the first time ever, he will be submitting designs for RHS Tatton as there is a particularly interesting theme which has caught his attention. The United Nations have announced that 2015 will be the ‘International Year of Light’ and he and new colleague Sarah Heyes have been inspired to explore how this could be represented in a show garden. Let’s hope that they like his submission, then we can all catch a real-life glimpse of Matt’s work.

Louise Harrison Holland

Louise Harrison Holland - Credit: Archant

Blue Tulip Garden Design

Louise Harrison-Holland trained at the Pickard School of Garden Design in London, graduating in 2005, before setting up her Wilmslow-based Blue Tulip Garden Design business.

Having first trained and worked as an interior designer, she brings her understanding of how people use and live in their homes to every design she undertakes.

Louise says that for her it is important that the new garden sits well with the lifestyle of the client and in harmony with the architecture of the house, as well as sitting comfortably in the wider environment, whether it is a city centre or a large country garden with expansive views.

She loves to use grasses in the garden for their movement and texture and how well they look all year round, but uses them with perennials and evergreen shrubs to add the backbone of the planting design. Louise is inspired by the work of Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf who designed planting at Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire in conjunction with Tom Stuart-Smith, which she says is well worth a visit.

A Louise Harrison-Holland's hard landscaping garden design

A Louise Harrison-Holland's hard landscaping garden design - Credit: Archant

Louise’s awards include:

2008: RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – Silver Gilt

2013: RHS Flower Show Tatton Park for The Alzheimer’s Society – Gold

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This year sees an 18 month in the planning project come to fruition, with a one-acre garden in the depths of the Cheshire countryside. Louise has had to bear in mind the historic nature of the site whilst providing the client with a garden that is relevant to his more contemporary needs and has been the biggest challenge she has had in garden design so far!

Jacquetta Menzies

Jacquetta Menzies - Credit: Archant

Jacquetta Menzies

Jacquetta originally trained as an architect and has designed extensions to modern and historic buildings, conservatories and garden rooms. However, a lifelong passion for growing things led to branching out into landscape design, and after completing a course at Reaseheath in garden design she set up her present practice.

Her span of work includes everything from tiny courtyards to arboretums, and has a special affinity with designing solutions for areas with seemingly impossible challenges, from steep rocky hillsides with little or no top soil to low lying sites with poor drainage and her skill in this field has in fact been recognised by the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI).

Jacquetta’s awards include:

2011: BALI - National Design Excellent Award

2012: RHS Flower Show Tatton Park – Silver

The perfect solution to a challenging space, from Jacquetta Menzies

The perfect solution to a challenging space, from Jacquetta Menzies - Credit: Jill Jennings

Be inspired

Jacquetta’s plant knowledge is unsurpassable. Her talent for selecting the perfect plant for its environment – exercised to the full in her many challenging site designs – is reflected in a blog on her website that unselfishly shares her knowledge with everybody who has a passion for gardens. Regular visitors can expect to discover hints, tips, advice, recommendations and discoveries for every month of the year, providing the ideal guide for Cheshire’s gardeners seeking support with planting in these northern lands!

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