David Neale, Award Winning Garden Designer

We are fortunate to have skilled and talented garden design and construction specialists with a wealth of experience, working in our local area, project managing, designing and building beautiful private gardens.

NealeRichards Ltd are Garden Design, Construction and Plant Specialists who are based in Guildford, working in London and throughout the South East, both on residential and commercial garden and landscape commissions.  Company Directors David Neale and Leigh Richards have over 18 years’ experience between them, including a Gold Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society Judges at the RHS Hampton Court flower show – quite an amazing achievement!  I was thrilled to meet David Neale and find out more about his work and NealeRichards Ltd’s plans for the future.

David Neale has always had a creative talent; he studied art at Godalming College and went on to achieve an art degree at Farnham – specialising in sculpture.  Having always been interested in gardens, David took over the development of his parent’s 10 acre garden.  Finding he enjoyed working outside, being hands-on, David spent the following eight years working for a professional landscape designer, where he met his now business partner, Leigh Richards.

David Neale, pictured in August 2015, in a garden he designed and constructed in April 2013.
David Neale, pictured in August 2015, in a garden he designed and constructed in April 2013.

David studied Garden Design at Merrist Wood, his initial foray into working on Show Gardens, was showcasing his own garden, which he both designed and built, The ‘Urban Serenity’ Garden, at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show in 2010, where the Royal Horticultural Society Judges awarded David a Gold Medal.  David and Leigh then went on to team up with other garden designers, focusing on garden construction.  NealeRichards returned to Hampton Court in 2011, working with KLC student Anoushka Feiler, building her Silver-Gilt Medal winning garden, ‘Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky’.  The following year NealeRichards built Anoushka’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ garden, which swept the board with a Gold Medal, Best-in-Show, and the People’s Choice Award.

In 2013 NealeRichards built Mathew Childs and the main show sponsor, Ecover’s Show Garden, which also achieved a Gold medal and Best-in-Show.  Since then NealeRichards Ltd has worked with many other high-profile designers, including Fiona Lawrenson, Sarah Price, Tom Harfleet, and this year Catherine Chenery and Barbara Harfleet.

Away from the public spotlight of building show gardens, David enjoys the process of designing and building client gardens – from the first meeting with clients, finding out about their needs and requirements, the first design, a blank canvas, right through to the final touches of planting and landscaping.  A lot of the private gardens NealeRichards Ltd work on, are designed in an older style, with plenty of York stone and dry walling, which is one of the specialty skills that they offer.

Client gardens can bring their own challenges – such as a new swimming pool built in an awkward kidney shape; David paved the pool area and surrounded it with box and lavender to soften the edges.  He also brought in three parasol trees – each around 2.8m high and weighing around a ton – with a wide canopy growing on a bamboo frame, using trees instead of conventional sun parasols.  These intuitive and inspiring ideas really set David Neale apart as a designer.

Asked about his plans for the future, David would love to secure sponsorship to design and build a Show Garden, on Main Avenue, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – it would be a dream come true for NealeRichards Ltd to produce an inspiring and award winning garden, with the sponsorship and backing of a local company.

This garden was designed and built by NealeRichards Ltd. This photograph was taken during the construction of the garden in February 2013 by NealeRichards Ltd.
This garden was designed and built by NealeRichards Ltd. This photograph was taken during the construction of the garden in February 2013 by NealeRichards Ltd.
This garden was designed and built by NealeRichards Ltd. This photograph was taken during the construction of the garden in April 2013 by NealeRichards Ltd.
This garden was designed and built by NealeRichards Ltd. This photograph was taken during the construction of the garden in April 2013 by NealeRichards Ltd.
This garden was designed and built by NealeRichards Ltd. This photograph was taken by NealeRichards Ltd in May 2014.
This garden was designed and built by NealeRichards Ltd. This photograph was taken by NealeRichards Ltd in May 2014.
This garden was designed and built by NealeRichards Ltd. This photograph was taken by NealeRichards Ltd in May 2014.
This garden was designed and built by NealeRichards Ltd. This photograph was taken by NealeRichards Ltd in May 2014.
David Neale, pictured in August 2015, in one of the many gardens that David has designed and constructed. This garden was built in April 2013.
David Neale, pictured in August 2015, in one of the many gardens that David has designed and constructed. This garden was built in April 2013.

This article was first published in the November 2015 edition of Vantage Point Magazine.

Other articles and links that may interest you…………

To read my pre-Chelsea 2018 interview with Garden Designer David Neale, where you can find out more about David’s design, his inspiration and ideas for the garden, and you can see David’s original plans for the Silent Pool Gin Garden, please click here.

To visit NealeRichards Ltd’s website, please click here.

To see photographs from the 2015 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, please click here.

To read about some of the Gold Medal winning nurseries at the 2015 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, please click here.

To read about the Festival of Roses and The Rose of The Year Competition at the 2015 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, please click here.

To read my interview with Chris Beardshaw, please click here.

To read about terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.

To read about plants that aren’t as attractive to slugs and snails, please click here.

To see photographs from the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, please click here.

To read about the new lives of some of the gardens featured in the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, please click here.

Other articles you might like:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *