Welcome to Ian Stubbs Landscape Architect


Crafting Timeless Landscapes

Since qualifying as a landscape architect, (Degree with Commendation and post-graduate Diploma), from Leeds Metropolitan University, Yorkshire, UK in 1985, Ian Stubbs has been designing landscapes ever since and established his own design Practice in 1992.


Whether it be commercial or domestic, there is a constant ethos which follows through every design; a sensitivity to the location, the surroundings and the essence of place. This design mantra of finding the ‘spirit of place’ has served Ian well, allowing him to carry out commissions all over the UK, Europe and further afield in the USA, and on a wide range of projects from small urban gardens to large, sometimes historic estates.


For new housing developments a careful assessment of the existing vegetation in the area is carried out, often with the assistance of an ecologist. Species are selected which, not only are appropriate to the location, but also cater for the practicalities of architectural design and modern living. Often, on new developments, Ian will work with Architects and Consultants to discharge planning conditions relating to landscape. In addition to new housing, sometimes in sensitive, green-field locations, other projects have included educational establishments, business parks and a large inland marina. Ian’s passion however is garden design where creative, unique solutions are found and influenced by careful site assessment. The resultant gardens are perfectly suited to the location, style and age of property, whilst catering for the specific needs of the Client. 


Often, Ian’s designs will have a clear structure and defined layout, using hedging and pleaching to divide the garden into outdoor ‘rooms’. Depending on the scale of the project these will reinforce the architecture of the house, thereby seamlessly linking the dwelling and surrounding gardens into the wider landscape.


Ian has always preferred to work alone, allowing the flexibility to work with other consultants and a wider design team according to the type of project. As a result Ian can work on a consultancy basis, or prepare a comprehensive landscape design masterplan. Where possible though the best results are achieved when Ian is allowed to follow the design process all the way from concept to completion. This allows Ian to ensure attention to detail at all stages and provide the Client with the best possible result.


But his involvement often does not stop on completion, for as he says, ‘gardens and landscapes are not static creations; they evolve over time and need constant editing’. 

Such gardens or landscapes may need to adapt to the needs of the Client, for example as families change over time. For this reason, Ian can often develop a long relationship with Client, many years after the garden or landscape has been created. 

'enriching lives through landscapes'

Design Elements - Structure

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Depending on location, whether it be commercial or domestic, Ian’s designs often aim for a strong, simple structural layout, where the overall design can be clearly seen all seasons. Hedging and pleaching are used to define spaces. In gardens clipped topiary shapes are also used to provide year-round interest and character, in contemporary or traditional styles. 

Paving, walling and garden buildings wherever possible are of a style and material which are in keeping with the architecture and location, and are preferably locally sourced. Incorporating design motifs found in the architecture are another way a new garden or landscape can feel timeless, as if it had always been there…

Design Element - Planting

Creating year round interest through careful choice of planting

The choice of planting is always carefully considered, not only takes into account the practicalities of climate, aspect, soil conditions and likely maintenance, but also to achieve the certain style that is required for the location; contemporary or traditional, informal or formal, rustic or classical. In all cases a lightness of touch and informality aims to contrast with the heavy structural planting mentioned above.

Consideration is also given to providing year-round interest and, by default, a wildlife friendly landscape. The composition of plants, how they are put together, has been a lifetime of learning for Ian; knowing which look best together, not only in terms of flower colour, but in terms of texture, form, height and growth rates. Constant research is undertaken by Ian, visiting gardens and specialist plant nurseries and meeting fellow landscape architects and plant people from around the world.

Peartree House

Ian's Personal Garden

For over 40 years Ian has developed his own garden at Peartree House, near Louth, Lincolnshire, as an experimental space, where his design ideas, plants and planting combinations are trialled. The sometimes inhospitable, flat, Lincolnshire Marsh coastal landscape provides a huge challenge in terms of planting and design, (see Instagram account ianaubreystubbs). As Ian says, ‘if a design and plants can succeed here, they can do so anywhere!’



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