Two Leeds Beckett University graduates, and stars of BBC One’s Garden Rescue, the Rich brothers, have published their own garden design bible, Love Your Plot.
Released on Thursday 18 May through Penguin Random House, Harry and David Rich’s book aims to help readers to make the most of their gardens, working with nature to transform their outdoor space into a green haven.
The brothers both completed BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture and Design degrees at Leeds Beckett University, with Harry graduating in 2008 and David in 2013. In 2013, they also became the youngest ever winners of a gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, before winning gold again in 2015.
Using the building blocks of conceptual architectural design and landscaping, in Love Your Plot Harry and David help readers decide what works best for them in their gardens. Their principle is that every garden is unique; and that, whether you own a large country estate, a modest garden or a small urban balcony, the key is to look for inspiration in nature that is relevant to your individual space.
Each chapter of the book features a different natural habitat, from woodland and grassland to coastal and mountain, using them as inspiration for unique designs including concept sketches, mood-boards, planting schemes, construction details and methods. Love Your Plot provides a rounded perspective of each habitat and how you can recreate the same feeling and character within your own garden.
Harry explained: “Creating this book has been a great experience. It’s been a lot of fun and something we’re very proud of – we’re really excited to be able to share it with everyone and we can’t wait to see it in bookshops.”
David added: “We hope Love Your Plot gives people the confidence to design and transform their gardens and inspires them to get outside within their local landscapes. Woodlands, mountains, grasslands, coastal and fresh water habitats have been our inspiration since we were young, shaping both our work and our way of life.”
The owners of their own garden design company, Rich Landscapes, the Welsh brothers have gone on to co-present the show, Garden Rescue, with Charlie Dimmock. Season two of the successful daytime garden renovation programme began airing in April 2017.
Speaking about his time studying at Leeds Beckett, Harry said: “I knew that being outside and designing were key aspects of what I wanted to do when I was older. The course at Leeds Beckett gave me a great depth of knowledge and the confidence to start our own company. The tutors were brilliant and it covered everything from plants to design and materials.”
David said: “Harry being three years older than me definitely inspired me to go to university. He always used to come back with homework, which was drawing and designing, and it definitely inspired me to go and do the same course and to go to the big city.”
Edwin Knighton, principal lecturer in Landscape Architecture at Leeds Beckett, said: “It’s only a few years ago that the Rich Brothers were studying Landscape Architecture here at Leeds Beckett University. Like a number of students, they have used the course as a springboard to kick-start their professional careers. We remember Harry and David as they carried out hands-on design work at our landscape resource centre, as we supported their undoubted talent and developed their knowledge in garden design. They have come a long way since then and we’re really proud to be associated with their success in the professional world of landscape and garden design.”
Ajda Vucicevic, editor at Penguin Random House, said: “The Rich Brothers’ approach to gardening is fresh, fun and modern. The book will be the perfect blend of design, planting methods and advice on recreating your own piece of nature whatever the space you have. Love Your Plot will be accessible to both complete garden novices like myself, and gardening experts. Harry and David are the future faces of the gardening world and I am delighted to be publishing their first book.”