Sophie Walker


Based in London, Sophie makes gardens the UK and internationally.  Her expansive new design for the De Pont Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands, opened on 16th September 2017 in celebration of their 25 year anniversary.  In Haywards Heath, UK, Sophie redesigned an area of Borde Hill Gardens, opened to the public in August 2018.  In April 2018, she inaugurated a public garden commissioned for the Taehwa River Garden Festival in Ulsan, Korea. In London, Sophie has worked in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects and Anish Kapoor as one of ten shortlisted teams for a UK government commission for a new national Holocaust Memorial on the River Thames besides the Houses of Parliament. She has received a commission to design a public memorial garden in memory of the great human rights activist Helen Bamber. Private UK-based projects include residential gardens in and around London and a large scale design on the Sussex coast. Sophie’s enthusiasm for travel has led her to projects as far afield as Japan, India and Sri Lanka and Bahamas. 

After studying art history, Sophie returned to her studies to qualify in horticulture, plant science and later, garden design.  In 2014 Sophie became the youngest woman to design a garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show with Cave Pavilion, sponsored by the Garden Museum, London.  

Sophie enjoys working with rare and unusual plants.  For her garden Cave Pavilion, at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Sophie worked with modern-day plant hunters Sue and Bleddyn Wynn-Jones to produce a 'fully-traceable' garden of previously unexhibited plants that had been grown entirely from seed collected in the wild.  Her interest in plants has extended to her private projects and she is currently working in the Bahamas in collaboration with the Bahamian National Trust.  

Sophie's first book, The Japanese Garden, has recently been published by Phaidon in October 2017.  In her writing, Sophie offers fresh insight on the conceptual and philosophical ambition of the Japanese garden and its abstract nature. This comprehensive publication features 92 of Japan's finest gardens, ranging from historic shrine gardens to contemporary urban designs.  

For her gardens, Sophie has previously won the People's Choice Award at RHS Hampton Court Palace for her A Valley Garden as well as a RHS Silver-Gilt Medal Show Garden and an RHS Chelsea Flower Show Silver Medal for Cave Pavilion.

Aside from the designing and making of gardens, Sophie also lectures on conceptual garden design and on the Japanese garden.  A qualified horticulturalist, Sophie advises on planting, maintenance and the garden environment.