Dan Pearson (garden designer)

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Dan Pearson
Born Dan Pearson
(1964-04-09) 9 April 1964 (age 54)
Nationality British
  • RHS Garden Wisley (Wisley Cert.(Hons))
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Kew Dip.(Hons))
Website www.danpearsonstudio.com

Dan Pearson (born 9 April 1964) is an English garden designer, landscape designer, journalist, and television presenter. He is an expert in naturalistic perennial planting.

Early life[edit]

Pearson was brought up in an Arts and Crafts house on the HampshireSussex border.[1] His father is a painter who taught fine art at Portsmouth Polytechnic[1] and his mother taught fashion and textiles at Winchester School of Art.[2]

He had a weekend gardening job for Mrs. Pumphrey at Greatham Mill Gardens, Hampshire,[3] that cultivated his interest in gardening. He decided against going to art college and dropped out of his A levels (backed by his parents) to go to the RHS Garden, Wisley, at 17. During 1981–1983, he was an RHS Wisley trainee in the certificate course. While at Wisley his mother introduced him to Frances Mossman, for whom he designed a garden. Pearson then went to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for a year to work in the Rock Garden and the Woodland Garden and went on to complete the three-year Kew Gardens course. Then he went back to maintaining Frances Mossman’s garden at Home Farm in Northampton.[2] He also had student scholarships to study wildflower communities in the Picos de Europa, Spain, and in the Himalayas.[4]

Pearson set up his garden design business in 1987.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Pearson's brother, Luke, is a product and furniture designer and a partner in the company 'Pearsonlloyd'.[5][6]

In 2010, he moved from Peckham in London to a property with 20 acres of land in Somerset.[7] According to a radio broadcast interview with Kirsty Young on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, he has a partner called Huw, whom he has known since the 1990s.


Since 2002, he has been designing a number of gardens as well as giving lectures around the world, including in the U.K., Italy, U.S., and Japan. [8] He has designed gardens for Jonathan Ive, Paul Smith,[1] art dealer Ivor Braka, real estate businessman Vladislav Doronin, [9] Carlo Caracciolo (the late owner of the Italian newspaper l'Espresso), and his colleague on The Guardian newspaper, Nigel Slater (this garden was a joint effort with Monty Don).[1] He restored the landscape at Althorp House (after Diana's death) after 1997 and worked on the landscape for the Millennium Dome.[1] He has worked at the Botanic Garden of Jerusalem. He designed the roof garden of Roppongi Hills in Japan in 2002.[4] Another large project was the Tokachi Millennium Forest Garden, in Shimizu, Hokkaido, which was featured on the BBC Radio 4 programme Designed in Britain, Built in Japan.[10] Another project is Maggie's Centre in Charing Cross, London.[11]

Pearson has done six show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show[2] including in 1992, 1993, 1994,[12] 1996 (with an outstanding roof garden),[13] and 2004 (for Merrill Lynch).[14] In May 2015, he returned to Chelsea Flower Show with the 'Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth Garden', inspired by the Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire.[15] It won a gold medal and 'Best in Show'.[16]

He has working relationships with architects and architectural firms in the UK including Zaha Hadid, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, David Chipperfield Architects, and 6a Architects, London. Pearson was elected a Royal Designer for Industry in 2012.[9] He is also working as the horticultural advisor for Thomas Heatherwick's Garden Bridge, over the Thames in London.[17]


Pearson is a tree ambassador for The Tree Council and a member of the Society of Garden Designers. In 2011, he was elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and was a member of the jury for the 2011 RIBA Stirling Prize.[4] At the Garden Media Guild Awards of 2011, he was awarded the prize for 'Inspirational Book of the Year'.[18]

The Garden Museum in Lambeth, London, held an exhibition on his work in 2013. Pearson created a new planting design for the border in front of the Museum.[9]

Television career[edit]

Pearson has presented and appeared in several TV series on BBC2, Channel 4 and Channel 5. In 1992, he presented his first garden makeover programme, Garden Doctors. A book of the same name later followed the series.[9] He presented Dan Pearson: Routes around the World on Channel 4, a six-part travel and horticultural series by Flashback Productions, in 1997.[19] In 2001, the BBC filmed a 12-part series, A Year At Home Farm, in Northampton, for which Dan had been designing the gardens since 1987.[20] A book later also followed the series. He appears occasionally on BBC's Gardeners' World, and also regularly talks on radio.[4]


Pearson has written for such newspapers as The Guardian, The Telegraph (during 2003–2006),[14] and The Sunday Times on the subject of landscaping and home gardening. He was the garden columnist for The Observer Magazine from 2006 to 2015.[21] He sits on the editorial board of Gardens Illustrated magazine and also writes for Gardeners' World magazine.[4]


  • Pearson, Dan (1996). Garden Doctors (A Channel Four book). Boxtree Press Ltd. ISBN 978-0752210292. Co-authored with Steve Bradley[22]
  • Pearson, Dan (27 Feb 1998). 'The Essential Garden Book'. Conran Octopus Ltd. ISBN 978-1850299196. Co-authored with Sir Terence Conran[23]
  • Pearson, Dan (4 Jan 2001). The Garden: A Year at Home Farm. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0091870324.[24]
  • Pearson, Dan (3 October 2011) [First published 28 September 2009 (as hardback)]. Spirit: Garden Inspiration. FUEL. ISBN 978-0956356291. Introduction by Beth Chatto[25]
  • Pearson, Dan (7 March 2011). Home Ground: Sanctuary in the City. Conran Octopus. ISBN 978-1840915372.[26]
  • Pearson, Dan (4 May 2017). Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-1783351176.[27]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kellaway, Kate (12 May 2013). "Dan Pearson: the wild gardener". www.theguardian.com. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Dan Pearson". www.rhs.org.uk. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  3. ^ Pearson, Dan (10 September 2006). "Splendour in the grass". The Guardian.com. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Dan Pearson". www.designindaba.com. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Pearsonlloyd". www.linkedin.com. February 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  6. ^ PearsonLloyd. "PearsonLloyd". PearsonLloyd. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  7. ^ "Dan Pearson: Putting down new roots". www.theguardian.com. 14 November 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Designers". www.hgs.co.jp. Archived from the original on 20 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d Pearson, Dan (23 May 2013). "Current Exhibition - Green Fuse:The Work of Dan Peasron". www.gardenmuseum.org.uk. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Designed in Britain, Built in Japan". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  11. ^ Pearson, Dan (11 May 2008). "Tree of life". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  12. ^ Nichols, Clive. "Clive Nichols Photography". www.clivenichols.com. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  13. ^ Leapman, Michael (16 February 1997). "IT'S TIME YOU HIT THE ROOF". www.independent.co.uk. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Nature always has the last laugh". www.telegraph.co.uk. 22 May 2004. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  15. ^ Cumming, Ed (17 May 2015). "'The day I uprooted Chatsworth and took it to Chelsea': Dan Pearson". The Observer. thegaurdian.com. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  16. ^ Hyslop, Leah (19 May 2015). "Chelsea Flower Show 2015: the winners in full". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  17. ^ Prynn, Jonathan (24 July 2013). "Roman Abramovich hires celebrity gardener Dan Pearson". www.standard.co.uk. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Garden Media Guild Awards". www.danpearsonstudio.com. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  19. ^ "Roman Abramovich hires celebrity gardener Dan Pearson". bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  20. ^ Delingpole, James (17 March 2001). "Has the BBC totally lost the plot?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  21. ^ Pearson, Dan (5 September 2015). "Pastures new: Dan Pearson's journey from city to farm". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  22. ^ "Garden Doctors (A Channel Four book): Amazon.co.uk: Dan Pearson, Steve Bradley: Books". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  23. ^ "The Essential Garden Book: The Comprehensive Source Book of Garden Design: Amazon.co.uk: Terence Conran, Dan Pearson: Books". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  24. ^ "The Garden: A Year at Home Farm: Amazon.co.uk: Dan Pearson: Books". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  25. ^ "Spirit: Garden Inspiration: Amazon.co.uk: Dan Pearson, Beth Chatto: Books". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  26. ^ "Home Ground: Sanctuary in the City: Amazon.co.uk: Dan Pearson: Books". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  27. ^ "Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden : Amazon.co.uk: Dan Pearson: Books". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-05-15.

External links[edit]