Home > Events > Secret Garden Visit: Tom Stuart-Smith’s Garden at The Barn, Hertfordshire

Secret Garden Visit: Tom Stuart-Smith’s Garden at The Barn, Hertfordshire

Explore the private garden of one of the country's top garden designers, as Tom Stuart-Smith opens up his family garden at The Barn for a group of up to six guests. This visit is part of our Secret Garden Visits fundraiser to raise urgently needed funds to save the Garden Museum from the impact of the coronavirus.

Tom and Sue Stuart-Smith have lived together at The Barn, in Serge Hill, Hertfordshire, since 1987. Tom was born here, and it is where his family has lived since 1924. They have created a world-renowned garden at The Barn and have been actively improving the landscape in and around Serge Hill for many years.

You will be able to take in the calm, contemplative courtyard, exuberantly planted west garden, two meadows – prairie and native – and the vegetable garden with its glasshouses, holding beds and wonderful ‘shed’ designed by Ptolemy Dean. Delightfully empty green rooms form the transition to the wilder area of the garden and Tom’s latest addition, a natural swimming pond.

Guests will be invited to bring a picnic lunch and wander round the gardens at their leisure. A full address for the garden will be provided to the buyer, along with the contact details of the garden owner so you can arrange parking and timings.

We are very grateful to Tom and Sue Stuart-Smith for opening up the garden at The Barn for our Secret Garden Visits fundraiser. Sue has also kindly offered to give all attendees a copy of her new book, The Well-Gardened Mind.


  • Tom Stuart-Smith

    Tom Stuart-Smith

    Tom Stuart-Smith is a landscape architect whose work is characterised by strong contrasts between built form and naturalistic planting. Tom read Zoology at Cambridge before completing a postgraduate degree in Landscape Design at the University of Manchester. He worked for several years at Hal Moggridge and Elizabeth Banks Associates before setting up his own practice in London in 1998.

    Tom has since designed parks, gardens and landscapes throughout Europe, India, USA and Caribbean. Significant projects in the public domain have included the Queen's Jubilee garden at Windsor Castle to mark the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire, the Bicentenary Glasshouse Garden at Wisley for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and on a smaller scale, the Keepers House Garden at the Royal Academy of Arts. International projects have included Le Jardin Secret in the heart of the Medina in Marrakech, a garden located on the waterways near Kottayam in Kerala, India, and a show garden for the international horticulture exhibition at IGA Berlin 2017.

    Current projects include a garden square at King’s Cross in London for Argent LLP and the Aga Khan Foundation, several projects at Chatsworth, a garden for the Scottish baronial estate of Aldourie Castle, a new public garden at the Hepworth Gallery Wakefield, and the masterplan for the RHS’s gardens at Bridgewater (near Salford) which is the largest new garden project in the UK.

  • Sue Stuart-Smith

    Sue Stuart-Smith

    Sue Stuart-Smith is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and author of The Well Gardened Mind, a Sunday Times Bestseller.
    She studied English literature at the University of Cambridge before qualifying as a doctor and working in the National Health Service for many years, becoming the lead clinician for psychotherapy in Hertfordshire. She currently teaches at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London and is a consultant at DocHealth, a not for profit, psychotherapeutic consultation service for doctors.

    She is married to Tom Stuart-Smith, the celebrated garden designer, and, over thirty years together, they have created the wonderful Barn Garden in Hertfordshire. Her book, The Well Gardened Mind, analyses the relationship between gardening and mental health.