House & Garden, March 2011

English gardens.

23 August 2011

Whether the brief is for a slick urban plot or a traditional country garden, Marcus's work always has a modern edge, influenced by modernist architecture.

Marcus Barnett spent seven years as an officer in the army before taking the sideways step into garden design. 'It was just something I had to do', he says. Following his heart, he decided to do a course at the Inchbald School of Design in 2003, and has never looked back. The year after he graduated, he designed a courtyard garden at the Chelsea Flower Show with fellow student Phillip Nixon. It won best in its category and the pair went on to create a further two award-winning Chelsea show gardens together, putting themselves firmly in the public eye. Meanwhile, Marcus was already running his own design practice, creating private gardens for clients throughout the country, and today his studio is buzzing with enquiries from as far afield as Saudi Arabia and the Dominican Republic. He is also planning an exciting garden, sponsored by The Times, for this year's Chelsea Flower Show. Whether the brief is for a slick urban plot or a traditional country garden, Marcus's work always has a modern edge, influenced by modernist architecture.'It's a classic case of less is more,' he says.


To balance this approach, his planting schemes are soft and naturalistic, with an emphasis on perennials, grasses and clipped evergreens. Design ethos: 'Garden design is all about solving challenges in innovative ways. I want my gardens to inject a sense of curiosity, to make people feel they are going on an adventure.'