Matt has written five books about gardening and garden design including the bestselling How to Plant a Garden for the Royal Horticultural Society, reprinted again in 2019. This follows the bestselling The Urban Gardener again for the Royal Horticultural Society. Matt has also written for many publications about gardening and garden design including The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Garden and the Garden Design Journal.
Channel 4’s The City Gardener introduced Matt to the gardening public; the series was later broadcast around the globe. Two series about urban garden design in the US soon followed. Other notable television appearances include ITV’s Love Your Garden and BBC 2’s Great British Garden Revival.
From 2014-2020 Matt led the degree level garden and landscape design programmes based at the Eden Project. This follows five years teaching on the renowned BA (Hons) Garden Design course at Falmouth University. Students under his tutorage have won the RHS Young Designer of the Year and the Society of Garden Designers Student of the Year award numerous times, the most recent in 2017. He still teaches part time at Eden focussing on design communication, professional landscape practice and planting design.
He has won awards for his design work both in the UK and US, including 1st place in California’s CCLA Annual State-wide Trophy Awards in 2006. The following year another garden completed in Los Angeles was commended in the same awards. Matt has also co-designed or schooled medal winning gardens at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Southport Flower Show, RHS Tatton Park Show, the Royal Cornwall Show, the Cornwall Spring Flower Show and most recently shared a Gold medal at Chelsea Flower Show in 2018 for his design work with the National Dahlia Collection.
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After completing a HND in Garden & Landscape Design Polly graduated with a 1st class BSc (Hons) Horticulture (Garden & Landscape Design) degree from Eden Project Learning.
Her passion for horticulture and garden design was sparked shortly after she relocated to Cornwall in 2011, when she began volunteering as a gardener for the National Trust. Prior to that Polly has worked across project coordination, administration, and marketing roles within various industries in London and Cornwall.
Until 2020 Polly was the Computer Aided Design (CAD) Technician for the degree level landscape design courses at the Eden Project. She helped students develop confidence with their IT skills and supported them in the technical resolution of their ideas and the presentation of their proposals. She also organised and managed the Eden Project Learning website.
Polly now focusses exclusively on private practise at Matt James Landscape & Garden Design, becoming a partner in 2020.