Expert garden designer to receive honorary degree
One of the best-loved personalities from the world of landscape and garden design, Diarmuid Gavin, is to receive an honorary degree from Nottingham Trent University. The award, the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Art, recognises his international reputation for contemporary garden designs which are distinctive, leading edge and often display a real sense of fun.
It also highlights his enthusiastic and generous contribution to the academic and practical work of Nottingham Trent University staff and students over recent years. The award will be presented to Diarmuid as part of this year’s summer graduation ceremonies at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on July 17.
TV favourite Diarmuid regularly uses unconventional materials and innovative engineering solutions in a bid to break the taboos surrounding what should be designed into garden spaces. He has been inspired by such diverse sources as Michael Jackson videos, Star Trek, Vivienne Westwood and the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry.
Having studied amenity horticulture at the Botanic Gardens, Dublin, Diarmuid established his own garden design business in the 1990s and went on to win prestigious prizes at events such as the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show.
The modern and vibrant city garden design which he entered for the show in 1996 had such an impact that he was instantly signed up for TV. He is now well-known for his appearances on programmes such as Home Front, Planet Patio, Art of the Garden, Gardens Through Time, Garden School and Diarmuid’s Big Adventure.
His unique approach and broad appeal have earned him a high profile in the media. He writes for national newspapers and has authored several books on garden design. He also delivers seminars internationally on issues such as the development of the modern garden.
Although his garden design and construction business – based in Dublin and London – now engages in projects across Europe, the Middle East and South Africa, he has still found time to support the work of Nottingham Trent University.
He served as an external examiner to help with the development of the BA (Hons) Landscape and Interiors degree and now visits the university informally to lend his expert advice on a regular basis.
This has included lectures on the history of garden and landscape design as well as practical assistance with students’ individual and group projects. Last year his encouragement helped inspire students to win a bronze medal at the Gardeners’ World Live exhibition and this year he has contributed to a project aimed at transforming a garden for an inner-city school in Nottingham.