Award-winning Garden Designer
Hello and welcome. My name is Chris Cooper-Hayes, and I am an award-winning garden designer based in Lutterworth, South Leicestershire. I became a garden designer for a very simple reason: I love plants and our incredible natural world. Having worked for much of my life as a professional graphic designer, I decided that I wanted to take my artistic skills and apply them to the unpredictable, ever-changing world of horticulture to create inspiring gardens that made people happy.
So, I trained and qualified as a garden designer, passing with a distinction, and then threw myself into developing my own design practice. I’d like to be able to say that I have a long ancestral lineage of horticultural experts, but sadly I have no Victorian plant-hunters or head gardeners in my genes. In fact, my earliest gardening experience (apart from helping my mum with the odd bedding plant) was in our tiny row of terrace gardens massacring my neighbour’s beloved roses pretending to be Zorro! Little did I realise I was actually deadheading! Therefore, over the years, through nurturing my own gardens and studying, I have learned the hard way – by getting stuck in and doing the job. I’ve now designed gardens of all shapes and sizes over Leicestershire, Warwickshire and beyond – why not view a few examples for yourself by taking a look at my Portfolio?
In 2014 I teamed up with fellow garden designer, Tony Harding, to enter a show garden for BBC Gardener’s World Live at the NEC. Together, we created a beautiful little garden based on the work of the war poets. Due to our emotive brief and attention to detail, we won an RHS Gold Medal and Best in Show for our design. Just between you and me, it’s an ambition of mine to win a medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. We will see what happens! In the meantime, I am honing my skills, building my plant knowledge across a wider range of species, and generally immersing myself in the business of creating inspirational gardens.
Underpinning virtually every aspect of my personal and business ethos is a genuine passion for protecting our planet. Nature needs a huge helping hand right now and it is my aim to include ideas for supporting wildlife into every project I undertake, big or small. From filling gardens with pollinating plants, to adopting the right principles to enrich and enliven our soils, I firmly believe a garden can be both wild and styled; it is my job to find the best way to blend my clients’ desires with the critical needs of our environment.
Beyond the art of creating a garden, I am also a keen thespian with LAMDA qualifications in acting and public speaking, and a string of stage performances under my belt including playing a seven-year-old twin in Blood Bothers and whipping my kecks off in front of hundreds of screaming women (and the odd bloke) as the lead in The Full Monty musical at the Little Theatre in Leicester. My love of razzamatazz has enabled me to give talks on garden design to gardening groups and societies, and this is certainly something I’d like to do more of. Details of this can be found on my public speaking page. Don’t worry, I generally keep my clothes on for these talks you’ll be relieved to hear!
I hope you enjoy looking at my website and find it helpful, but if you’d like to know more, please give me a call on 07824 360316.