There is no other garden designer quite like Diarmuid Gavin. He burst onto the scene with beautiful creations and a mischievous sense of fun, combining a passion for plants with a dollop of rock star grandeur to shake up the somewhat staid profession of garden design!
From a 3am rearranging of the iconic Blue Peter garden with Primal Scream, to being commissioned by the National Trust to rearrange one of its grand estates, Diarmuid has seen and done it all!
Rather conventionally trained, Diarmuid studied amenity horticulture at the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin in Dublin. Following this, he established his own garden design business. But he was bored!
So, after twice winning the Royal Dublin Society Gold medal for garden design during the nineties, he displayed at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 1995 and 1996. His modern vibrant city garden in 1996 caused quite a stir, and led to a career in television where he developed an individual style in contemporary garden design.
In 2004, the BBC made a five hour documentary series, Diarmuid’s Big Adventure, following him planning and creating a garden, which subsequently developed an audience for his work in many foreign territories...read more
Diarmuid was awarded an honorary Doctor of Art from Nottingham Trent University in 2007 in recognition of his contribution to garden design.
2011 saw Diarmuid return to Chelsea with his ambitious Irish Sky Garden, an exhibit inspired by the Wonkavator.
The following year saw the unveiling of his Magical Tower Garden, a scaffolding structure containing gardens on 7 levels, one on top of the other. In 2016, he returned to Chelsea with the Harrods British Eccentric Garden, a garden inspired by the work of the beloved British illustrator Heath Robinson. In May that year, Diarmuid established a joint venture with Harrods of Knightsbridge, Harrods Gardens, and that July the National Trust announced that it had commissioned Diarmuid to design a contemporary park at its Gibside property, the former family seat of the Queen Mum. He also runs a garden design studio, with clients in Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.
He has written 9 books on garden design, including 2 co-authored with Sir Terence Conran. His 11th The Extra Room will be published later this year. Diarmuid’s autobiography is called Diarmuid Gavin:How the Boy Next Door Turned Out.
Diarmuid has worked for all the main broadcasters on both radio and television in the UK and Ireland. For 8 years, his main programme, Homefront, was broadcast by the BBC. He has also been presenter and garden designer on other programmes such as I Want a Garden, and Planet Patio and worked on garden history programmes such as Art of the Garden in association with Tate Britain and Gardens Through Time, profiling the history of the Royal Horticultural Society over 250 years.
Most recently, Diarmuid fronts Channel 5 series Filthy Garden: SOS, which sees the transformation of Britain's most disastrous gardens.
Previously, Diarmuid fronted BBC 2’s Gardening with Diarmuid Gavin. He also presented alongside Nicki Chapman on The Great Gardening Challenge for Channel 5.
Outside garden television, he has appeared on the original BBC series Strictly Come Dancing, The Weakest Link, Mastermind, Masterchef, Splash! Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Celebrity Come Dine With Me, and was the subject of Who Do You Think You Are?.
He acts as an ambassador for Prince Charles, promoting the Princes Foundation for Building Community throughout the UK, and was a member of the jury of the Stirling Prize, the UK’s foremost architectural award.
He learned to show jump on the BBC television charity special Only Fools on Horses, and subsequently wrote and presented a series Diarmuid’s Pony Kids. The series followed five children from disadvantaged areas who ride in fields on urban estates and are trained by the top show jumpers in the world. This series won Diarmuid the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Documentary Series.
Blood of the Irish, a series during which he travelled the world, determining through genetics and the origins of the Irish race, going back 60,000 years, also won documentary series of the year.
In 2010, he took part in a 2 hour documentary aired on the BBC called Rich, Famous and Jobless – living alongside unemployed people for eight days to find out whats it's like to be unemployed in the UK. Diarmuid also took part in 71 Degrees North– a two week endurance show set in the icy glaciers of Scandinavia.