Design and Build service

Robert Ketchell can take care of the development of your garden space from idea to implementation on the ground. Developing a sound relation with clients is the foundation to a successful project, from initial conversations to ongoing programs of maintenance or development. Finding elegantly creative and practical solutions to a client's needs is our goal.

Aesthetic pruning

Robert is a specialist in the art of shaping plants, developing dynamic and pleasing shapes from all manner of plant material. He can draw on experience gained in Britain, Europe, China, Japan and the US. Fascinating features can be developed, by building up successive waves of shaped plantings, and maintenance levels can be kept reasonable through careful choice of plant materials. Japanese gardeners are trained in the arts of aesthetic pruning, which contribute to evoking a sense of grace, harmony and peace in a garden. He offers a full pruning and long term after care service, also instruction and training in ongoing maintenance techniques.

Water features

Whether it's a large mirror-still 'natural' pond, a winding stream that 'sings' on its way, or water dripping into in a carved stone bowl, Water features can be designed and created to augment virtually any location. Sensitive bank-side plantings and water loving species bring further layers of pleasure to the sight and sounds of water. We do not carry out any electrical work, this should always be carried out by professional electrical contractors

Planting schemes & border planting

Drawing on our extensive experience Robert can plan and install planting schemes for any garden situation. Marrying the choice of plants to the local environmental conditions with the client's desires. Whether it's seasonal colour or screen planting that is needed, solutions can always be found to improve garden views. We have excellent contacts to source the best plant stock, from herbaceous material to large trees.

Large or small garden spaces

Even the tiniest of spaces can be transformed, by understanding and seeing the garden as a sculptural whole. Using the natural energy and beauty of the materials themselves, simplicity of approach, and taking full advantage of existing features; these principles underlie the approach to all projects, large or small.


Gardens are a dynamic process of continuous change and transformation, likewise creating a garden or landscape is a process. Garden management programs are a way of integrating both maintenance and garden development into a cost effective cohesive scheme. Programs typically cover work schemes from two to five years. Individual consultancy is also available.

Robert has lectured to a very wide variety of organizations on the art and history of the gardens of China and Japan. He is able to draw on his own personal engagement with the design, creation and maintenance of gardens under a Kyoto master. He leads cultural tours to both Kyoto and in China. Contact Robert for more details.

Japanese style gardens

With over 30 years of studying the garden traditions of both China and Japan, Robert has a unique depth of experience in this particular way of creating gardens. The eastern garden traditions offer a cornucopia of insights and inspiration that can find a harmonic response to Western architecture, gardens and landscapes. A through working knowledge of both traditions is fundamental to opening fresh approaches and avenues. Robert has mastered the art of ishigumi, stone arrangement. Zen-style stone gardens, where perhaps the garden comes closest to living sculpture.