A rather belated post about this year’s Houzz award – received back in January!  But still worth a shout don’t you think?

Melissa Morton Garden Design has been awarded the accolade ‘Best of Houzz 2018’ by the international home renovation and design platform, Houzz. This follows two similar accolades from Houzz in 2016 (for Design) and 2017 (for Service).

The award. in the Customer Service category for Melissa’s portfolio of services, includes some of the most consistent reviews on Houzz during 2017.

‘Melissa was very professional but approachable. I used her unique ‘1-off Consultation‘ service. The 2.5 hours of discussion focussed on how to give my garden more cohesion whilst keeping it informal and wildlife friendly. She presented lots of ideas some of which I am already putting into place. At the end of the session a written list of topics was provided with a few annotated photographs.’

‘Melissa gave us the inspiration and ideas we were looking for, to get the most of our garden. She provided a prompt and efficient service which was good value for money. Thank you Melissa.’ (Garden Inspirations Design Service)

To see Melissa’s Houzz profile, click here.

Running isn’t my passion. The outdoors, the landscape, trees and planting are (aside from my family of course). But the only way to keep moderately fit and healthy in balance with work, home and family is to run. It’s convenient; […]


Melissa Morton Garden Design, Ilkley, West Yorkshire has won a HOUZZ “Best of Customer Service” award for 2017. This badge rates the business at the highest level for client satisfaction by the HOUZZ community. HOUZZ is the leading platform for home renovation and design. The HOUZZ community consists of more than 40 million monthly unique global users.


The Best of HOUZZ is awarded annually in three categories.  These badges help homeowners identify popular and top rated home professionals on HOUZZ. Customer Service awards are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews for a professional service.


I’m so proud to receive this award; it recognises my commitment to my clients, providing the best service for them. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on some fantastic projects, working with clients wishing to create their dream garden. 


In particular I’d like to thank the clients who have taken the time to write and submit a review as I appreciate the time taken out of their busy lives to write feedback which is constructive and meaningful. As a small business owner this is vital to help improve my services.


My ‘One-off Consultations’ have been particularly appreciated and valued.  They have developed as a direct result of customer feedback.  Tailored for people who wish to transform or adapt their garden themselves but don’t know where to start, they offer great value. I try to share as much as I can during the brainstorming session with the home owner.


Melissa is extremely knowledgeable, a great teacher and very good fun!…  At the end of the 2 hours I felt totally inspired about the future of what is essentially quite a small and uninspiring space. E. Gordon.


There are a lot of people out there who want to transform or adapt their garden themselves. They have a lot of ideas but don’t know where to start, how best to phase changes or perhaps need a little direction. I try to leave clients with some inspiration and 2-3 things to focus on to enhance their garden in their own time.


The Flash Planting Design was developed for a client who wanted to rejuvenate their borders in time for a June garden party.  It worked really well, so is now offered as a NEW service.


Melissa was a pleasure to deal with and made the process of transforming our garden a really enjoyable process. With Melissa’s help, I learnt that I have strong preferences, and my choices were translated into a beautiful and elegant garden which is perfectly suited to the site and to our lifestyle.  AM Cousins


This HOUZZ award has been a great start to the year, and I’m excited what 2017 will bring. I’d like to let readers know about a promotional discount for my One-off Consultations during February and March – a great way to kick start any changes this year.


Go to HOUZZ for more details.



A family trip to Edinburgh’s castle during October half term brought an unexpected appreciation of a sensitive landscape design around the ‘new’ Scottish Parliament – ‘sitting in the land’.  Walking from parking the car on the edge of Holyrood Park towards the Royal mile we came across and walked alongside the parliament building. A very modern structure (built 1999-2004) juxtaposed to the rugged and natural Arthur’s seat. My 10 year old son, was compelled to take his shoes and socks off to dip his feet in one of the vigoratingly cool pools.

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I wasn’t sure a 2 hour consultation could be so productive! Sue was about to embark on an extension on her Ilkley home. Having moved in a couple of years ago, she and her husband had an architect prepare drawings and the builders were due to start in a few weeks time. Read more

The Head Gardener of Alnwick Garden travelled to Burley in Wharfedale last Friday to give an illustrated talk.  I didn’t feel like venturing out.  But I’m glad I did.  We’d had heavy snow that morning and although all melted by the evening the weather was wet and windy. I would have been equally happy stopping at home, in Ilkley.

But how lucky the audience were to receive such a talk from Trevor Jones who had to drive back to Alnwick afterwards late that evening. (I understand he had to be present at Alnwick Garden for some early morning filming the next day, so had to get back).

So how did Trevor Jones come by to make this trip from Alnwick to Wharfedale?

Trevor knows Geoff and Jackie Whiteley from STRULCH. A company based in Burley in Wharfedale which has developed a straw based mulch.

Alnwick Garden uses STRULCH in their ornamental garden. As well as having the benefits of other organic mulches, this product turns out to significantly reduce the impact of slugs. Trevor and his team use it around Hostas and Delphiniums, plants which are notoriously attractive to slugs and are typically decimated by them. Not so at Alnwick, we heard.  Visitors often asking what is their secret!

The development of Alnwick gardens is not yet complete. There are still a couple of phases to implement. It was intriguing to here that the Duchess of Northumberland had approached Jacques and Peter Wirtz from Belgium to come up with a design for the gardens. Designers who I admire for the simplicity and structure in their designs. I was surprised to hear that the Duchess had previously approached UK designers but none had been able to crystallise her vision.

Children are encouraged to explore and immerse themselves in the garden, with various activities, structures and edible planting for them to enjoy.

By the end of the talk I was convinced that this is a place where horticulture and landscape design is truly valued. Considerable investment has been made to create a public garden for various generations to enjoy and to appreciate the outdoors. It restores faith in the horticulture profession, one that typically doesn’t pay well but one which can have such a positive impact.

I’ve not been to Alnwick for a couple of years. They have various enticing events throughout the year. The talk has reminded me what a delight it is and I must take my boys again soon.

Former Lord Mayor Cllr Dale Smith sponsored the event in Burley in Wharfedale in aid of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Money raised will go towards The Bradford Hospital Children’s Charity and the Spread a Smile Charity.

Mothers Day Sunday 6th March

For a really unique gift idea why not give a Garden Experience Voucher? A chance to learn the secrets of garden design and/or garden coaching makes a perfect present.

For Mother’s Day I am offering a free artificial gift planter (subject to availability) with each 2 hour experience voucher purchased before 5th March.

Contact me for more details.