How We Work – Garden Design

Garden Design Approach

At Thomas Hoblyn Garden Design, we like to work on interesting projects with interesting people, whether on a one-to-one basis or as part of a large design team.

The size of the project is not as important as how it will exercise our creative skills to design something worthy of accolade and an improvement to the landscape. We have designed city courtyard gardens, large rural estates, and commercial landscapes.

Garden Design Drawings

“Tom was on our wavelength and we felt that he would
be able to work quietly and confidently. We felt we could trust his professionalism.”

Mr. A.H, Surrey.

Garden Design Philosophy

We believe in the design being a response to the place, environment, geology, and other landscape factors. For this reason, we have developed a particular design process, starting with a thorough analysis of the site, soil, and climate.

Hand sketching is important to thoroughly identify details, something that photographs, although useful, can’t do in the same way. This organic process means we only move to computer-generated designs in CAD once the perfect design is agreed upon and understood.

The breadth of our portfolio means we respect the past while looking to the future, peeling back the layers of history that inform the landscape while striving to deliver sensitive, respectful, and innovative design to meet modern needs.

Sustainability and choices relating to the use of local materials, trades, and skills are also important in our design.


“I loved Tom’s view on ecology and the importance of nature
in a garden. I loved that he knew about
Arts and Craft gardens and he was enthusiastic,
not at all pretentious.”

Mrs. C.D,  Norfolk.

Garden Design Process

Though each project is different, the design process tends to follow a familiar path, beginning with a site meeting to discuss initial thoughts and ideas that will ultimately become the brief. Tom will then put together a proposal outlining the design process and fees. Examples of our work and precedent images will also be included, along with a draft brief.

Upon appointment, we will commission a topographic survey and visit once again to carry out a thorough site analysis and fine-tune the brief. Tom likes to also start drawing while on site to tease out some ideas. Back in the studio, these sketches are developed further into a concept presentation that includes all our findings and the refined brief.

Master planning and technical detailing are the next stages in preparation for the tendering process. These are normally drawn in CAD and provide all the information required to manufacture and construct the project.

Once a successful contractor is appointed, some form of contract administration is needed to commission and oversee the project to practical completion and handover to the client.

Pre-application planning advice and planning applications are often required and we have built up good relationships with consultants and local authorities to ensure a smooth process.

Being a plant-focused designer, Tom likes to personally select, procure, and choose plants and works with the very best growers in the UK.

“Tom engaged excellently with the limited brief that we gave
him and was genuinely enthused by the project. It was evident from
the outset that he had enormous creative vision and could
transform a challenging plot into an exciting garden.”

Jane H, Essex.


Our Landscaping and Garden Design Services and Specialities

We work at all scales of landscape design, from small courtyards to large estates and together as a team, our expertise and experience allow us to offer a range of services to suit your project, from conceptual brainstorming to practical completion of the build.

We cover a range of design and management services for the private, commercial, and public sectors and are often key members of the wider design team: architects, engineers, planners, ecologists, arboriculturalists, and lake and water specialists.

Working with neighbouring farmers, land agents, conservationists, and sourcing gardening staff are also regular tasks that are embraced with tact and enthusiasm as part of the design process.

Our services include but are not limited to:

  • Landscape Masterplanning;
  • Technical detailing and specification writing;
  • Planning applications and Statutory Body liaison;
  • Planting design and plant selection;
  • Contract administration/site inspection and supervision during construction;
  • Landscape management and maintenance report.


Our Clients

We have been fortunate enough to work with and for some incredible clients and partners, including;

Cambridge University /  Yiangou Architects / Cowper Griffith Architects / Greenfingers Charity /Johnston Cave Associates / Nicholas Jacob Architects / The National Trust / The Woodland TrustWincer Kievenaar Architects / Marks Barfield Architects / Havens House Children’s Hospice / Wroxham Builders Ltd


“He is a very creative designer and we wanted
to see what he could do with the space –
and great guy to work with.
The design he delivered was fantastic”

Jo S, Cambridge.