Charlie Day - Garden Designer
London-based garden & grotto designer Charlie Day set up Charlie Day Gardens in 2011 and has since completed many gardens in London as well as on private estates & commercial properties around the English countryside. Specialising in stone & shellwork grottos, Charlie has added a unique aspect to what his company can offer & his grotto designs have gained client interest as far afield as California.
The changing landscapes of Charlie's life have played a great part in inspiring his garden career. Born in Donegal, Ireland; aged two his family moved to Kenya where he lived and was schooled until thirteen, along the way notably taking an avid interest in the natural world around him. Back in the UK, his secondary school career started at Malborough College, Wiltshire and ended at Glenalmond College in Perth, Scotland; and after excelling at A-level art, he left for Italy to study sculpture at The Florence Academy. During four years sculpting between Florence and Rome, Charlie compiled a great library of sketchbooks of scenery around him, including countless beautiful Italianate gardens and grottos, which are often a source of inspiration today.
After returning from Italy to Northern Ireland, he worked as a freelance sculptor as well as part time for a land agent, visiting estates and managing the arable land as well as the woodlands.
Finding his affinity with nature too strong a pull to ignore, in 2008 he enrolled at Guildford College to complete a Garden Design diploma, after which he moved to a Wiltshire garden design firm to gain experience. Within the varied landscapes of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, he cut his teeth designing kitchen & walled gardens, landscaping parkland and avenues, boathouses, water gardens and tennis courts as well as more intricate designs such as tree houses & grottos.
In 2011 wanting a further challenge he headed for London where he set up Charlie Day Gardens, a design & construction company. He underwent further training in 2014 under accomplished grotto & shellwork expert Belinda Eade.
Vinnie Hedley - Project manager
Having run her own successful jewellery business since 2003, worked part time as PA to acclaimed interior designer David Bentheim (2008-2010) and property developer Gilbran (2010-2014), Vinnie felt like a further challenge, and in 2014 joined her brother as Project Manager at Charlie Day Gardens at a time when the business was expanding rapidly.
With her Irish routes and African upbringing, Vinnie developed an early love of nature - trees in particular (an aspect of inspiration that can clearly be seen through her jewellery designs).
Since she joined the company Vinnie has completed a planting & hedging course at Kew & Lambeth Palace & travelled round the country looking at countless gardens for inspiration.
The pair work as a great team combining Vinnie’s organisation skills and creative energy with Charlie’s practical mind and technical skills as well as the natural bond and no-nonsense approach siblings have with each other.
Arek & His Team - Construction Manager + Team
Arek (front left) has been working alongside Charlie since 2015. He acts as the go-between with clients when Charlie is not on site and efficiently project manages his construction team. He is highly experienced in garden construction, and the majority of his loyal team have been with him since he started out in the profession.