Planting the seed
The seeds for my future were planted seventy years ago in northern Italy, when my grandfather opened a nursery and shop in Trieste, selling vegetables, garden tools and seeds. Many people don’t properly appreciate plants until they are adult, but my love and understanding dates from a childhood spent following my grandfather around as he worked in the garden and glasshouses, tending plants and sowing seeds.
My parents inherited my grandfather’s business and expanded it, soon finding new customers all over Italy and abroad. This is my background, and it’s not surprising that I have always loved seeds, and become ever more fascinated by their microscopic beauty and the endless possibilities they offer in the garden. And nor is it surprising that my passion for plants and flowers has led me to where I am now.
I set up Stefano Marinaz Landscape Architecture ten years ago, inspired by the vision of giving as many people as possible the opportunity to have a beautifully designed garden. I realised this dream, and today we can offer all the design, landscaping and installation services you need to transform your open space into a wonderful garden.
We are chartered members of the British Landscape Institute, members of the Society of Garden Designers and of the Dutch NVTL. With offices in both London and Utrecht, we manage projects all over Britain, Italy and the Netherlands. And thanks to the recommendations and referrals we receive from clients, our international portfolio is always expanding.
Meet the team
Having completed degrees in both Agronomy & Landscape Architecture in Italy, Stefano Marinaz studied for an MA in Landscape Architecture at the University of Greenwich in London. After a stint as a horticultural intern at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, he joined Arne Maynard’s studio to work on a range of private gardens in Britain, the USA and the Middle East.
Since establishing SMLA in 2012, Stefano and his team have worked on a rich mix of projects, often collaborating closely with architects and engineers.
SMLA creates elegant and secluded outdoor rooms for London clients, and rural gardens designed with exceptional sensitivity to the surrounding landscape. The studio also specialises in the historical restoration and reconstruction of landscapes surrounding listed buildings.
Stefano is a fully registered member of the Society of Garden Designers and is a Chartered Landscape Architect registered with the Landscape Institute.
His determination to realise each client’s vision for their garden means he is personally involved in every project. His knowledge of plants and planting enables him to layer bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees in rich, naturalistic schemes guaranteed to provide colours, scents and interesting textures throughout the year. His schemes often encompass unusual plants selected to respond well to the particular conditions of a site, or to meet a special request from a client.
Stefano also pays close attention to the detail of hard landscaping, incorporating a contemporary twist in his choice of paving, water features, lighting and feature walls, and always seeking out new, unusual, and bespoke materials.
Adél SegesdiProject Landscape Architect
Adél runs SMLA’s London office, and is responsible for managing all of our projects in the UK. Having studied Landscape Architecture in Budapest, her love of travel led her to seek out work experience with practices in Portugal, and now London.
Her expertise is reflected in stylish and creative designs, and in a fine eye for detail as UK project manager. She visits each of our sites regularly to ensure the smooth delivery and completion of every project.
Tara LetcherLandscape Architect
Tara studied a Bsc Degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and was awarded an invitation to the Golden Key International Honour Society for achieving academically within the top 15% in her field of studies.
Growing up in South Africa which is known for being one of the most biodiverse and ecologically rich places in the world as well as Tara’s love for adventure, her passion for the outdoors grew from a young age.
With an inherent desire to create beautiful spaces as well as an interest in plants and nature, Tara chose to channel her artistic and creative skills into enhancing the aesthetic and function of outdoor spaces through Landscape Architecture. Her desire is to impact the lives of current and future generations by bringing people closer to nature while restoring the natural environment.
Vivi KoulouriAssistant Landscape Architect
Vivi is the newest addition to our team. She recently joined the dutch office in Utrecht for her Erasmus internship and she is finishing her Landscape Architecture Bachelor degree at the International Hellenic University in Greece. She works with the role of Assistant Landscape Architect, helping throughout the different phases of the projects and contributing to the organisational process of the practice while gaining experience on the field she wishes to pursue.
Our business partners
We work with a solid and extensive network of additional architects, structural engineers, water feature specialists and lighting designers, who help to ensure the smooth delivery of our exceptional bespoke gardens in both Britain and Europe.
SMLA is proud to be a Kew Patron, actively supporting the work of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew is home to the largest, most spectacular and globally diverse plant collection in the world. The plants grow in wonderful combinations and an enormous variety of separate and very distinctive garden spaces, where they are set against a backdrop of ancient trees, lakes, follies and glasshouses. These things are entertaining for the visitor, but Kew is underpinned by rigorous intellectual purpose.
It is internationally renowned as a centre for botanical research, with a particular focus on the conservation of endangered plant species all over the world. The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership conserves seeds as an insurance against extinction in their native habitat, and the herbarium contains over 7 million specimens and plays a central role in research into plant conservation.
Kew’s library is used by students at the School of Horticulture and thousands of visitors every year. Stefano and the SMLA team use Kew Gardens as an extension of their own studio, observing the behaviours of plants throughout the year, drawing inspiration from planting schemes and designs, and taking photographs and detailed notes.