A perfect match on Design for Me

Back in February, Rupert was on the look-out for a garden designer to transform his south London garden into a fantastic space for entertaining friends. Using Design for Me, he quickly found Simon Orchard and the design work started.

Peckham urban garden

Before meeting Simon, Rupert already had some strong ideas. He was inspired by the urban vibe of his local area, Peckham in South London (like the rooftop bar pictured above).

Garden designer South London

Simon Orchard set up his garden design practice after working with various Chelsea award-winning landscape architects.

He followed his passion, retraining as a landscape designer after a successful career in consumer marketing. He aims to create gardens that clients can enjoy all year round – not just for 3 months of the year.



Here at Design for Me, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners all over the UK to find the best garden designer for their project.

✓ Get matched within minutes and see who’s interested.
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The brief – a ‘magical’ garden

Rupert wanted to create a magical back garden that he can use in summer to cook and entertain friends, but also to bring him pleasure through the winter months.

Before approaching his garden designer, he compiled a Pinterest board full of ideas that reflected his tastes and ambitions for the project. Rupert was clear on the type of finish he wanted including shuttered concrete, contrasting and detailed textures, teaming planting and 50s’ style screens.

See Robert’s Pinterest Board

The client’s wish list: 

  • Seating area
  • Firepit
  • BBQ/cooking area
  • Possibly a pizza oven
  • Strings of lights to add a bit of magic
  • Planting near the house to look out on during winter months

The site and budget

  • £15k all-in
  • East/West plot
  • Roughly 5m x 15-20m
  • Nothing currently to salvage

The concept design

After meeting with Simon to discuss the project, Simon sent over his fee quotation for the design work. During the first meeting, Simon had established a good understanding of Rupert’s requirements.

Once Simon was appointed as garden designer, he carried out a full site survey of the garden and started to produce a concept design, including some development sketches and a mood board incorporating Rupert’s wish-list.

Urban Garden Design


(Below) Early development sketch showing the view from the house with a water feature fed by a water chute made from a re-cycled RSJ beam, a storage cupboard with a re-cycled door and a planted archway through to the firepit area. The lush planting partially obscures various elements of the garden so they ‘reveal’ themselves as you wander along the zig-zag path.
Perspective Magical Garden Peckham


(Below) Early development sketch showing the view from within the firepit area, with bench seats made from gabions and re-cycled scaffolding planks. The tall bamboo gives a sense of enclosure and privacy from the neighbours.

fire pit



The final design

The final design includes more detailing: a ‘floating’ steel frame will be affixed to the back wall to create an interesting focal point – intended to mimic a large picture/mirror in a living room. Sections of the brickwork wall will be chased out to create recessed pockets to hold tea lights. Large poured concrete slabs are incorporated into the path, entrance to the firepit area and under the firepit, and weathered oak composite decking from Mllboard has been specified to give an instant aged look to the dining area.


Magical Garden Peckham

What’s next

Simon is managing the tender process on behalf of the client and the chosen landscape contractor will begin the landscape works in the autumn.

We look forward to hearing from Rupert and Simon and, as the project progresses, we will keep you updated here too!


Finding the right garden designer for your project

The key to a successful garden project is good research and planning. Choosing the right designer is a critical first step, but we know that finding the right one can be a bit of a minefield. This is exactly why we set up this website in the first place! Just like Rupert did, register your project below and we’ll help you to find the right person for your project in no time.


Emily  Design for Me

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