Garden Designer and Landscape Architect in Dorset

Ann Balmforth in Dorchester, Dorset, UK on Houzz Ann Balmforth in Dorchester, Dorset, UK on Houzz

My name is Ann Balmforth and I am a garden designer based in the middle of Thomas Hardy's Wessex, near Dorchester, Dorset. This means that I can also cover the local areas of Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire.  During this Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, I am continuing to work with existing clients and am happy to offer free initial consultations to new clients via video calls to discuss requirements and preferences, and then my husband and I can survey your garden while following the Government guidelines on social distancing.  All following meetings can also be held via video calls.  We can exchange ideas by telephone, email, video call and WhatsApp.  As it takes time to discuss and prepare a design, it means that you will be ready to construct your garden once the lock down rules are relaxed.


I have been analysing requirements, designing gardens and managing projects for many years, as well as creating my own garden that has been endorsed as a wildlife garden by the Dorset Wildlife Trust.  My garden designs are distributed across a number of categories, so scroll through them at the top of this page then select View The Gardens to browse through the different designs.

As an experienced garden designer, I have created beautiful and effective designs for all types of clients, ranging from small town or cottage gardens, contemporary courtyards to large rural landscapes. Each garden is a bespoke and innovative design, drawn by hand, after spending sufficient time with each client to understand their specific requirements. I believe that it is important to have enough time to listen to clients.


My clients have ranged across Dorset, Bristol, Wiltshire and Hampshire and their gardens varied in style, from a courtyard for a couple to a family garden, to a suburban garden or to a one acre farmhouse garden. Some have been sloping gardens, some have been awkward shapes, all of them have been individually designed and drawn by hand to meet the client's requirements. I am a passionate garden designer/landscape architect and love the challenges of new projects, whatever the size, shape, aspect or gradient, and love working with people to achieve their dreams.  I can also recommend landscape contractors to construct your design which I am happy to monitor.


ann balmforth GARDEN DESIGNS

MSc., MSGD, Dip. Professional Garden Design

As a professional garden designer, my designs are built around the principles of innovation, versatility and collaboration, I am proud to provide a professional, passionate and friendly design service that will inspire you to realise your vision and create a garden that will enhance your lifestyle, so please contact me to discuss your requirements and make an appointment for a free consultation within Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. If you wish to make an enquiry for a garden outside these counties, I will only charge travel expenses at cost. Please browse through my portfolio to see the range of my work and if you have any questions regarding the designs please don’t hesitate contact me.


  • KNOWLEDGE OF PLANT TYPES IS EXCEPTIONAL: ... we are hugely pleased with the results.....boundless enthusiasm and right from the initial consultation was very customer focused, clearly understanding what we wanted to achieve and building this into a coloured outline plan which was clear, met all expectations of a fresh, modern look and most importantly worked around the existing hard landscaping, which we were keen to retain. Ann's knowledge of plant types is exceptional and she instinctively knew what would work, both for our garden and for us!
    Mr T, Bishop's Waltham, Hampshire
  • BEAUTIFUL CONCEPTUAL PLANS: … delighted to recommend … Ann's input helped us to turn our "wish list" into a coherent plan … took the time during our initial consultation … clarifying our vision … surveyed the garden … beautiful conceptual plans … every detail of the scheme clearly, in colour
    Mr B, Broadmayne, Dorset
  • VERY CREATIVE USE OF SPACE: ... she wanted to create a garden that integrated with our lifestyle .... Ann worked very quickly and in just a couple of weeks she delivered the outline design .... very creative use of the space, and incorporated all of the requirements we had specified, and on top of that had a 'wow' factor, that we could never have imagined .... I thoroughly recommend her garden design services.
    Mr D, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire
  • EFFICIENT AND INSPIRATIONAL: We are delighted with our new garden. Ann considered are requirements and preferences and has designed a beautiful space that meets our needs, incorporates our planting choices whilst suggesting some new delights that suit the situation. The whole process has been efficient and inspirational. Looking forward to the coming seasons to see how it matures.
    Mrs F. Ringwood, Dorset
  • LISTENED TO WHAT WE WANTED: We were very happy with our garden designer from the very beginning. We felt she really listened to what we wanted and was able to overcome some difficulties we were expecting. Our garden was a funny shape and on quite a steep incline - no one was interested in taking on such a challenge until I was introduced to Ann. She was very enthusiastic, really listened to what we wanted in the garden and had some really good ideas to add. The end result was an absolutely stunning garden which is continuing to grow even more beautiful.
    Mrs P, Preston, Dorset
  • OPEN TO DISCUSSION: "Ann designed and project managed (including liaising with planners) the transformation and renewal of our steeply sloping and rather neglected back garden into a stunning and enjoyable outdoor space. The project included a large amount of hard landscaping on varying levels, enlarging existing borders and creating an overall planting plan. Ann always listened to our ideas and was open to discussion, and designs were adapted and changed along the way and even on site. The new garden sits beautifully with the older house and looks almost as though it has always been there. Highly recommended!"
    Mrs V, Beaminster, Dorset
  • ALWAYS CONTACTABLE: " Ann was the Garden Designer for a project we undertook just outside of Ringwood, Hampshire. We would have no hesitation recommending Ann to design a garden for you. From producing a number of clear and concise drawings to work from, to being on hand to assist with setting out plants and trees, Ann was always contactable as a point of reference if we had any questions or needed confirmation on orders the client had scheduled. We found Ann to be very personable and approachable, she had great rapport with the site team and the client, which I feel helped produce a wonderful garden. We hope to work with Ann again in the future."
    Connor Scott, Landscape Designer/Estimator, E. Williams Landscapes Ltd
  • VERY PROFESSIONAL: "Ann developed a Japanese garden plan for my front and back garden incorporating various rocks, stones, stone lanterns, paved areas, stairs and walkways. Planting included various trees, shrubs, and ground cover - in excess of 1,000 plants. The Plan was very professional and clear to understand, and was redeveloped over several months as new ideas were added into the plan on a very timely basis. Ann also recommended landscapers, building materials, planting, and took part in overseeing acquisitions, and building work, and overall project oversight. My garden has exceeded all expectations and I owe it all to Ann - hiring her was easily the best decision I made during the entire project."
    Mr P., St Leonards, Dorset.
  • DESIGN SYMPATHETIC TO THE LISTED HOUSE: "We searched for a while for a designer for our garden and chose Ann because we loved her style. Our garden is a bit of a challenge as: it is not joined to the house; we live in a listed building; and it is on a very steep slope. Ann's design was sympathetic to the house and yet reflected perfectly what we had discussed with her when she came to visit us. Of course, being a listed building, and requiring engineering to build steps and terraces, meant going through planning and Ann helped in providing the designs for that. During the build Ann kept coming back to progress check the landscaping (itself a challenge because of the slope and rocky terrain) and tweaking the design when inevitable challenges threw themselves upon us. We now have a beautiful garden, rather than an un-mowable slope of grass."
    Mr C., Weymouth, Dorset
  • FANTASTIC DESIGN AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL: "What a wonderful garden - and best of all, it’s ours!! We have a garden that everyone is remarking on and all the credit goes to Ann for her fantastic design and attention to detail. From start to finish Ann has been meticulous in listening to us: exploring what we liked in terms of shape, mood and colour; helping us to think about how we intended to use the garden and how much we wanted to be involved in its maintenance! She provided wonderful plans to inspire us and for the installation team to work from. Ordered the plants and checked them for us on delivery then got busy laying them out whilst directing the team and supervising those with little knowledge (me!) Already the plants are starting to grow and the garden is changing .... we can’t wait for Spring to really get started so we can see what else comes peeking up through the bark. One of our firemds has asked if we will be selling tickets for garden viewings in the summer! The answer is no, but we will happily be inviting lots of them around to share a glass of wine, put their feet up, relax and enjoy it with us."
    Mrs L., Weymouth, Dorset
  • WITHOUT ANN'S VISION THE GARDEN WOULDN'T EXIST: "We needed a 'big vision' for our new garden and that is exactly what Ann delivered. She listened carefully to our ideas and interpreted them into a flowing garden with wide sweeps of planting, generous paved areas and a curvaceous pond which reflects the sunsets just magnificently. As the construction process evolved so did some aspects of the original plan so we now have a garden which is not only Ann's design but a bit of ours too! I enjoyed a lovely morning discussing the planting schemes and we are looking forward to our first spring/summer, seeing some leaves on the trees and the continuing evolution of our garden; a garden which without Ann's vision coupled with her attention to detail simply wouldn't exist. Thank you."
    Mrs B., Ashington, Dorset
  • EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS: "Started planning the project with Ann last summer for a Japanese inspired garden. Design was exactly as per brief and she worked closely with the landscape contactors to ensure that the final product matched the design. The garden when completed certainly met if not exceeded our expectation. Friends and family have been impressed with what has been achieved. Overall cost of landscaping was expensive but we felt it was worth it. Very happy to have worked with Ann on this projected. High praise"
    Dr. M., Dorset
  • COMMUNICATION IS EXCELLENT: "We have worked alongside Ann on a number of projects over the last 3 years, with styles ranging from Japanese to that of an English Country garden. From the outset, the information and plans we receive are accurately set out, with detailed drawings from which to work from. Communication between Ann, ourselves and the Client is always excellent. This ensures we can complete any project to the highest standard, within timescales. We always look forward to a project from Ann, they are of extremely high quality, interesting and well laid out, finished with colourful, diverse planting plans."
    Greg Walker, Gregorys Landscaping.
  • KIND AND FRIENDLY GUIDANCE: We first contacted Ann last year about redesigning the garden at our home in Weymouth, which was at that time very neglected and in need of radical work. From our first meeting she was so enthusiastic about the project, and in a kind and friendly way guided us through the stages of the planning - from the outline plan, to the final detailed layout, including the plants and colours we liked. She worked closely with the landscapers (Gregorys), monitoring the construction from start to planting. Her design has produced a lovely, colourful garden that is exactly what we wanted. We will enjoy using it and watching it mature over many years to come. Ann’s work has also been much appreciated and admired by our neighbours! We highly recommend Ann.
    Mr & Mrs W., Weymouth, Dorset