A Centre of Excellence for Garden Design

Welcome to the Yorkshire School of Garden Design

Our mission at the Yorkshire School of Garden Design is to deliver professional, accessible, enjoyable and in-depth courses in the heart of Yorkshire.  Renowned garden designer Alistair Baldwin spent over twelve years as an academic teaching landscape architecture and garden design and with 25 years under his belt as a practicing designer he has established a centre for garden design and horticultural excellence based at Harewood House, one of England’s Treasure Houses.

We believe in nurturing through example and to that end all our courses are delivered by practicing professionals who give students behind-the-scenes insights using projects from their own design portfolios along with real-life scenarios and challenges to learn from. All our courses will also benefit from direct access to the 100-acre gardens at Harewood House with their enchanting collections of species from around the world.

We are offering a range of courses to choose from.  Our menu of Short Courses are aimed at those looking to dip their toe into the wonderful world of plants and garden-making, including taster courses for aspiring professional designers.  Our flagship Diploma in Garden Design is a one-year part-time course with two days-a-week of contact with tutors.  The Diploma gives students a thorough preparation for the challenges and rewards of professional practice. Learn from the professionals and expand your mind in a beautiful setting.

Your Mentors and Lecturers

YSGD Founder and Principal Tutor Alistair Baldwin has assembled a team of lecturers, studio tutors and guest speakers from the leading edge of their professions around the globe.  He believes passionately that students should learn from those who practise what they preach, giving them a genuinely relevant and current learning experience.

Photo: Eva Nemeth

Alistair Baldwin BA(Hons) DipLA
Founder and Principal Tutor

Alistair Baldwin

Alistair has an international reputation as a garden designer and educator, delivering courses and lectures throughout the UK, Far East and North America. Ranked in the House and Garden Top 50 garden designers, Alistair leads a practice based in North Yorkshire delivering high-spec public and private gardens throughout the UK as well as several public and show gardens in the Far East, his work featuring in many of the leading lifestyle and garden design journals.  He has lectured widely in China and North America and has delivered courses internationally on design and graphic communication.  He believes passionately in creating a learning environment for students that is rich, engaging, relevant and hands-on.

Alistair spent twelve years teaching landscape and garden design at Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett) where he gained a reputation for nurturing talent, using his own design projects as learning material and sharing first hand experiences from the garden design front line.

Alistair and his team have built up a wealth of experience in delivering rich and well-crafted gardens and students at the Yorkshire School of Garden Design will get a real insight into how they design, communicate and deliver their projects.

Alistair is the Principal Tutor and course leader on the Diploma in Garden Design and his role includes delivering lectures, mentoring students during studio design sessions and leading study visits to gardens and landscapes around the UK.

Photo: Eva Nemeth

Alistair Baldwin BA(Hons) DipLA
Founder and Principal Tutor

Alistair Baldwin

Alistair has an international reputation as a garden designer and educator, delivering courses and lectures throughout the UK, Far East and North America. Ranked in the House and Garden Top 50 garden designers, Alistair leads a practice based in North Yorkshire delivering high-spec public and private gardens throughout the UK as well as several public and show gardens in the Far East, his work featuring in many of the leading lifestyle and garden design journals.  He has lectured widely in China and North America and has delivered courses internationally on design and graphic communication.  He believes passionately in creating a learning environment for students that is rich, engaging, relevant and hands-on.

Alistair spent twelve years teaching landscape and garden design at Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett) where he gained a reputation for nurturing talent, using his own design projects as learning material and sharing first hand experiences from the garden design front line.

Alistair and his team have built up a wealth of experience in delivering rich and well-crafted gardens and students at the Yorkshire School of Garden Design will get a real insight into how they design, communicate and deliver their projects.

Alistair is the Principle Tutor and course leader on the Diploma in Garden Design and his role includes delivering lectures, mentoring students during studio design sessions and leading study visits to gardens and landscapes around the UK.

Liz Rawlinson

Principal tutor and garden designer

Liz Rawlinson is both a qualified and experienced teacher and practicing garden designer. She has spent several years teaching her craft at a design school in London and has returned to her home county of West Yorkshire to join Alistair as Principal Tutor at YSGD and continue her practice as a designer.

Photo: Chaz Oldham

Pandora Ryan

Principal Tutor and Garden Designer
Course Leader, Online Diploma in Garden Design

Pandora is an RHS award-winning garden designer, artist and lecturer. She was part of the tutor team at the prestigious KLC School of Design in London before relocating to her home county of Yorkshire and joining YSGD. She is the course leader and principal tutor of the Online Diploma in Garden Design, bringing a passion for sustainable practices and a sensitive, artistic approach to planting and landscape design. Pandora runs a successful garden design practice in Yorkshire, alongside her role at YSGD.

Photo: Chaz Oldham

Ula Maria

Garden designer and author

Ula has an international reputation as a designer of great sensitivity and atmosphere.  Her books include the highly successful ‘Green – Simple Ideas for Small Outdoor Spaces’

Photo: Nicola Stocken

Matt Keightley

Garden designer and author

Matt has won numerous show garden medals around the globe and his contracting company Rosebank Landscaping is responsible for some of England’s most influential modern gardens.

Photo: Chaz Oldham

Ben Preston

Plantsman

Head Gardener at the iconic York Gate Garden in Leeds and renowned plantsman. Ben has recently established Cliff Bank Nurseries in Yorkshire where he will be growing a wonderful range of perennials and grasses for sale to garden designers and the public.

Photo: Eva Nemeth

Pollyanna Wilkinson

Garden designer

Pollyanna is creating show gardens at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Festival 2022 and RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 and has a growing international reputation for her sophisticated designs and strong eye for colour.

Photo: Chaz Oldham

Mark Gregory

Garden designer

Mark is Managing Director of Landform Consultants Ltd and in his time he has built close to 100 show gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, winning countless Gold medals and People’s Choice awards for gardens designed by some of the worlds most finest.

Photo: Chaz Oldham

Jack Wallington

Garden designer and author

Jack studied at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh and after a spell in the creative industries in London he moved to Hebden Bridge in the heart of Yorkshire.  Jack has carved out an enviable niche as a successful garden designer, public speaker and author since setting up his own design business in 2018.  He has penned a number of critically acclaimed books including ‘Wild about Weeds – Garden Design with Rebel Plants’, the ‘RHS Gardener’s Book of Patterns’ and latterly the excellent  ‘A Greener Life’.  In 2019 he won ‘The Times Gardening Book of the Year’ and has written for The Telegraph, The Guardian and Gardens Illustrated.

Photo: Chaz Oldham

Eva Nemeth

Garden photographer

Eva Nemeth is known the world over for her stunning photographs of gardens created by some of the leading lights of the design profession. She has been published internationally on numerous occasions in Gardens Illustrated and House and Garden, her work instantly recognisable by its effortless subtlety, grace and quality of light. We’re delighted that our students will have the chance to spend time with one of the worlds greats, learning one to one in a beautiful setting.

Photo: Chaz Oldham

Rachel Greenhill

Food growth consultant

Rachel is currently completing her PhD in Plant Molecular Biology at the University of Sheffield specialising in crop improvement and food sustainability.  She has built a formidable following on her hugely successful Instagram account @rachels.allotment and accompanying blog, both of which provide an informative insight into the bounty that flows from her highly productive allotment in Sheffield.

Photo: Chaz Oldham

Ollie Pike

Landscape Architect and Garden Designer

Ollie is a designer based in Yorkshire and is passionate about creating beautiful and forward-thinking spaces. Although young, he is fast becoming recognised for his passion and skill and was selected as an RHS Young Designer of The Year Finalist in 2023 and one of Gardens Illustrated’s “One’s to Watch” in 2024.

Prior to setting up his Pike Studio, Ollie worked for one of the leading landscape and garden design practices in the UK, where he was involved in a large variety of projects including a gold medal winning garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021. He led a number of projects in the UK and across Europe, such as high-end residential gardens in London and Geneva, and a large campus-redevelopment in Berlin.

Ollie is a guest lecturer on the Show Garden Short Course and the Diploma in Garden Design. We are also very excited to have Ollie as part of the YSGD studio tutor team.

Rachel Bailey

Garden Designer

Rachel runs her award-winning landscape and design studio comprising a team of 4 on the West Coast of Scotland. The underlying ethos of the studio is to create plant-filled gardens and landscapes that are designed, built and managed with sustainable and ecological principles in mind. In doing so, we believe that these gardens have an opportunity to sequester carbon, provide myriad wildlife habitats, restore the soil, and be restorative and educational for people. The practice is Green Small Business certified and we have an environmental management plan in place to continue to improve our sustainability credentials.

Rachel is a fully registered member of the Society of Garden Designers (MSGD) and currently leads on SGD council for sustainability. She has written for high profile industry journals and magazines, spoken at conferences and given webinars on sustainability and biodiversity following a long-term interest in environmental issues.

Photo: Andrea Jones