An Artist's Studio at Home by Jessica Makins Garden Design


RHS Medal - Gold

Garden Name: An Artist's Studio at Home 

Designer: Jessica Makins Garden Design 

Contractor: Jeffrey Hart

Inspired by the home, studio and paintings of Georgia O'Keefe, this garden is designed to provide a space to imagine, make and exhibit.

Imagined as a home art studio, either as a garden room or a converted room in a house, the design focuses on creating views to paint and draw. A soft palette of natural materials provides a backdrop for textural, grey-green planting with contrasting monochrome blooms.

Ethics are important in this garden, which utilises natural materials inside and out, including timber and clay as well as natural fibres such as wool and linen.

This garden is a collective effort featuring handmade, natural and sustainable homewares and textiles from at least ten different independent businesses. Makers include a sculptor, potter, weaver, chair maker and lighting designer.

About the Designer

Jessica Makins is a qualified garden designer working in the South West of England and South Wales.

Her garden designs are characterised by a clean and elegant style that is sympathetic to the surrounding environment and the heritage of a site. She looks to nature to inspire planting schemes that evolve across the seasons, painting a space with colour, texture and form.

A teacher for over ten years, Jessica decided to pursue a second career that would allow her to express her creativity, and love for nature, and to get outside! Spending a month working in a chateaux garden in France confirmed this desire, and she began looking for a course back in the UK.

She received a Diploma with Distinction from the Cotswold Gardening School in 2018, as well as a prize for her final project, 'Cotswold Dairy'. Whilst studying, she sold her house and bought a van. Once the final project was in, she headed for the hills of Scotland. There she was a student on the Hartywn Natural Building Program, spending four months building a timber frame home in the Cairngorms, which was an education in natural and eco-friendly building techniques.

Now living on a boat in the South West, Jessica is currently studying Permaculture Design with Shift Bristol. Her ambition is to join the principles of sustainable gardening with her love for creating visually enticing spaces. This ethos is continued into her own design practice, with a focus on sourcing materials for hard landscaping that are local and sustainable, and plants that are from environmentally responsible suppliers.