garden semi-shade border design

My Approach

All my designs are unique, and will transform your garden into a bespoke outside space that will fit in with your requirements and are in sympathy with the house and its setting, and be a delight for years to come. My designs aim to provide that 'wow' factor, however small.  I focus on creating wildlife friendly sustainable gardens.


My work varies from large scale designs or entire gardens to individual borders or advice on planting. If you plan to complete the work yourself, or in stages, I can provide detailed drawings or just a planting plan that will enable you to plan the work as your budget allows.

About Me

I graduated with distinction in Garden Design from the English Gardening School at Chelsea Physic Garden in 2019, and was awarded best overall student.

I gained my RHS Level 2 in Horticulture in 2014, before working as the Interpretation Associate at Cambridge University Botanic Garden for two years where I designed two beds showcasing the research on plant science being carried out at he University. I also redesigned and wrote new interpretation panels in the botanic garden, and set up a policy and schedule for writing interpretation throughout the whole garden.

I have a degree in genetics focussing on plant genetics and have previously worked as a TV producer, and wildlife and science documentary writer.

I am based in Cambridge but can design your garden or outdoor space  wherever you are.

Alison Murray garden designer

The Science of branching

The field of sunflowers represented Professor Ottoline Leyser’s work on the plant hormones strigolactone and branching. All the sunflowers were ‘tall single’ cultivars, bred to produce only one flower. The plants in the middle section of the bed had their tops removed when they were young encouraging branching. This bed was a huge success with both visitors and the bees and stood for three summers. The muntjac deer also found the sunflowers extremely tasty and after a long battle with hungry wildlife the bed was reduced in size, but still spectacular.

The Science of Branching, sunflowers at Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Alison Murray Garden Design

Plant Circadian rhythm

Professor Alex Webb’s work on plant circadian rhythm was represented in two curved beds backed by trellising. The plants that grow on one side of the curved bed flower in the morning and those on the other side in the evening. They are intrinsically linked to the Earth’s 24-hour clock, and some are also light and temperature sensitive, blooming in the optimum conditions for their pollinators.

Plant Circadian Rhythm Beds at Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Alison Murray Garden Design