About Rosemary

Image-000Rosemary Anne Alexander VMM (RHS), AI Hort, FSGD

  • Founder & Principal of The English Gardening School
    Garden design

Principal of The English Gardening School and a major influential figure in the world of garden design, Rosemary combines teaching worldwide with maintaining her own garden and has written several books. In 2011 she was awarded the RHS Veitch Memorial Medal for her contribution to garden design.


Born, brought up and educated in Scotland, then trained as a landscape architect, Rosemary was the first woman to be elected a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers, now recognised by being made an honorary life member of the Society. For eleven years she was tenant of the National Trust property Stoneacre, near Maidstone, Kent where she transformed the gardens. She now lives in Hampshire, where since 2001 she has created a new smaller garden, the subject of many magazine articles.


A practical and ‘hands on’ gardener, she spends much time travelling, leading tours to various private gardens abroad, lecturing worldwide and teaching garden design in Russia, Ukraine and Japan.

She has judged regularly at the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show and at the Cardiff, Hampton Court, Malvern and Tatton Park RHS shows. Also at the Chicago and San Francisco Flower Shows, and lectured at the Philadelphia Flower Show. In past years she has lectured and given masterclasses in Australia, Canada, Hungary, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Tasmania, Ukraine. In June 2014 she judged and lectured at the Imperial Russian Flower and Garden Show, St. Petersburg, Russia where two of her past students – Victor and Victoria Samgina – won the major design award. Jo Thompson, an EGS graduate, created the best show garden there.

A break from teaching in Kiev, Ukraine

A break from teaching in Kiev, Ukraine


Her book The Essential Garden Design Workbook (Timber Press 2004) was awarded one of eight Silver Awards by the Garden Writers Association of America and also their Bronze Award for achievement. It has also been translated into nine languages and a third edition was published in 2019. Other books by Rosemary include:

The English Gardening School (Michael Joseph 1987)

A Handbook for Garden Designers (Cassells/Octopus 1994)

The Garden Makers Manual (Conran Octopus 2005)

The Essential Garden Maintenance Workbook (Timber Press 2006)

Dear Christo (Timber Press 2010)

Plus two Distance Learning manuals: Garden Design and Caring for your Garden. A 3rd course manual Planting Design, will soon be available

The royalties from her book Dear Christo go to the Great Dixter Charitable Trust.