Principal Designer: Graham Slocombe BSc(Hons), MHort(RHS), MIHort
Graham the principal designer is duel qualified, holding a first-class Bachelor of Science degree in landscape and garden design, and the Master of Horticulture degree from the Royal Horticultural Society, with over 38 years of relevant professional experience.
Following six years practical work in the building and civil engineering industry Graham did a five-year classic apprenticeship in horticulture. Following this came a formal education in landscape and garden design graduating with a first class BSc (Hons) in landscape and garden design, specialising in creative thinking, conceptual design solutions, environmental psychology and landscape aesthetics. Continuing his academic studies, he graduated with the esteemed MHort(RHS) degree from the Royal Horticultural Society, where he specialised in historic landscape design, landscape restoration and landscape management. In total Graham has thirteen academic and vocational qualifications: three in landscape and garden design; one in landscape management and landscape restoration; eight in horticulture; one in arboriculture, and one in turfculture and groundsmanship.
Inadvertently Graham thus followed the traditional route in his professional career in the same manner as the great landscape masters of the past, who all undertook a foundation period in practical building and practical horticulture before embarking on an academic study and professional practice of landscape design. This priceless foundation anchored these old masters in the essential practical reality of the profession before beginning design practice. This same foundation anchors Graham to the reality of the profession, and like the old masters before him Graham also undertook the equivalent of the grand tour commencing in 1999 and terminating in 2002, when he visited and studied at an academic level 237 celebrated gardens of various styles in: Italy, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Like his forerunners this sets Graham apart from the mainstream landscape designers of today
In the early years Graham worked for some of the most esteemed Landscape Architects in the UK, notably: WMP Landscape Consultants, Michael Littlewood Associates, Cooper Partnership, and WS Atkins Landscape, plus a period of time with the Essex County Council Landscape Department and Berry Landscape Management.
He wrote the landscape and garden history module for the Horticultural Correspondence College and revised their entire Landscape and Garden Design Module. He was a major contributor to Michael Littlewood’s books: ‘Tree Detailing’ and ‘Landscape Detailing’ and contributed to Rosemary Alexander’s book: ‘Garden Design’. He designed and programmed the: ‘Landscape Assistant’, ‘Landscape Assistant Junior’, and ‘Garden Plant Manager’ software packages for Landscape Software in 1989. More recently between 2004 and 2016 Graham worked almost exclusively for billionaire Paul Alllen, the co-founder of Microsoft as his European Properties Landscape Manager based in the South of France, before returning to private practice.
Graham’s experience in landscape and gardens began in the UK where he practiced design and build for 26 years, designing and creating landscapes for public, private and commercial clients, including: city farms: townscapes, public parks and high-class residential gardens. Recently Graham has been responsible for producing design and management plans for large country estates, manor houses and exclusive villas in the Mediterranean region where he has worked for the last thirteen years, handling projects with values from 1.5 million upwards.
Specialisms include: garden architecture; historic and contemporary landscape designs; Italianate, classical English romantic, and English arts and craft style gardens, Moroccan, Japanese and Portuguese style gardens; water, ecological, low maintenance and naturalistic gardens; xeriscapes; historic landscape restoration and reclamation; installation and integration of sculpture and large exterior art; water gardens, pools and ornamental productive gardens. Graham is now at the pinnacle of his professional career having amassed a huge amount of technical knowledge, practical and design experience, all married to an innate creativity and a client orientated diligence.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.