About the team
Alex Johnson and Catherine Heatherington came together to design a prize winning wildlife garden for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds at Flatford in Suffolk, and have continued to work together on schemes which benefit from their complementary skills. Drawing on their wide range of experience in both design and ecology they work together to create exciting and beautiful gardens that can also provide homes for animals whose natural habitats are in decline.
Having taken unconventional routes in their careers they found that had arrived at a similar approach to design, and landscape, combining contemporary design with sensitivity to place, nature and the environment. The need to consider biodiversity, climate change and the responsible treatment of water underpins all their work.
Both Catherine and Alex are experienced lecturers and trainers. They provide Continuing Professional Development for emerging designers, as well as guidance for community groups and volunteers.
A love of plants, her education in botany, ecology, design and landscape, and a devotion to Jay Appleton’s concept of prospect, refuge and hazard have led Alex to a passion for making places which touch people.
Alex has particular experience in landscapes for schools, charities, housing developments, health premises and private clients. Her recent portfolio includes the design of a series of lakes in the South Somerset countryside, the preservation and enhancement of natural areas on a golf course, and new developments in sensitive landscape settings.
She is also able to advise on planning issues with respect to landscape, trees, horticulture and ecological considerations.
Catherine was born and brought up in East Anglia and the legacy of this landscape of vast skies and distant horizons is evident in many of her gardens. The basis of her design philosophy is to balance the architecture of forms, planes and structure with naturalistic colours and textures.
Catherine is a multiple prize-winning designer, and an author and lecturer in topics encompassing planting design, restoration of derelict spaces and contemporary gardens for wildlife.
Catherine was awarded her PhD in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield in 2015, specialising in the redevelopment of post-industrial landscapes, and offers a consultancy service in this field. Download a copy of her thesis Perceptions of Landscape Continuity and Change.