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 has subsequently developed an audience for his work in many foreign territories.
2011 saw Diarmuid return to Chelsea with his ambitious Irish Sky Garden, an exhibit inspired by the Wonkavator...read more
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.
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.
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 awards.
He learned to show jump on a BBC television charity special called Only Fools on Horses and subsequently wrote and presented a series Diarmuid’s Pony Kids where five children from disadvantaged areas who ride in fields on urban estates were 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, 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 what’s it like to be unemployed in the UK. As well as this, Diarmuid took part in 71 Degrees North– an endurance show for 2 weeks set in the icy glaciers of Scandinavia.
Diarmuid was awarded an honorary Doctor of Art from Nottingham Trent University in 2007 in recognition of his contribution to garden design.
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 How the Boy Next Door Turned Out was published in 2011.
He runs a garden design studio, with clients in Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.
In May 2016 Diarmuid established a joint venture with Harrods of Knightsbridge, Harrods Gardens.
In July 2016 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.