Harry and Roman have been firm friends since school days. After graduating on the same Landscape Architecture and Design course, they decided in 2011 to start their own landscaping company, FMN Gardens, to take their passion for transforming gardens to the next level. Now, with nearly 20 years’ experience between them, Roman and Harry continue to make their dreams (and those of their clients in North London) a reality.

Harry Jeffries, co-founder of FMN gardens

Harry

Director

What has been your favourite project so far?

I think the most satisfying one for me to date was the Radlett garden, which was a milestone for me in many ways. Not only was it my biggest project up to that point, but it was also the first time I had collaborated closely with a garden designer, so good communication and project management were paramount. I loved the design and the end vision, and worked closely with both the designer and the client throughout to achieve it, and that gave me a lot of satisfaction. I overcame many challenges and hurdles whilst also learning a lot about management and the different processes and stages involved. So in spite of the fact that it nearly finished me off, it was all worth it in the end!

Another of my favourite projects was one of the first larger jobs that I designed and built from start to finish alongside the FMN team back in 2016. The freedom the client gave me to work with materials I love, whilst designing a cool, party-style garden really inspired me. I’m sure most designers can appreciate this, but I feel there’s something really special about seeing something you’ve designed and given so much thought to finally coming to life, which was a real joy for me and my team, and a massive confidence-booster for future projects.

What motivates you at work?

For me, being my own boss and making my own decisions is something I wouldn’t change for the world. One of the main reasons I decided to go into landscaping was the work environment. Landscaping is a tough trade, and the cold winters don’t make it any easier, but getting on a tube each morning and working in a stuffy office environment certainly wasn’t for me.

What would you like to do more of in the future at FMN?

With most garden designs, there are certain restrictions such as budget which limit what you can do. As a designer, I’d love to work on some really inspiring projects where there are fewer constraints, and I have the freedom to design what I want and use materials I enjoy working with.

Of all the various aspects of landscaping, I get the most satisfaction working with hardwood timber and carpentry in general, so I’d like to do more of this in the future. It requires real precision and attention to detail which I enjoy a lot.

Roman Ortiz, co-founder of FMN Gardens

Roman

Director

What has been your favourite project so far?

This is a very difficult question to answer as I’ve worked on so many projects that all have different aspects, some of which were favoured, where others were nightmares! On the whole though, it’d have to be Peng’s job in Highgate. It was really challenging, as the access was incredibly difficult to manoeuvre. It also had structural elements that I undertook myself without a structural engineer’s advice. However, I took my experience from other projects with similar issues and probably over-engineered the structural design and to this day it still stands! This project was also located to the side of a woodland so we had a fantastic view with peaceful surroundings. It consisted of a large variety of different materials and building methods, combining existing features with new assets we overcame level issues and created a fantastic three-tiered garden.

What motivates you at work?

I really like working outdoors! And the creativity that comes with a full garden transformation is something that just brings me so much satisfaction. I love to leave my clients with their perfect new space to their home – it’s just a shame we always have to leave on the day it becomes perfect!

What would you like to do more of in the future at FMN?

I like a challenging bit of woodwork and would like to explore more materials and techniques throughout the trade. We recently constructed a contemporary garden studio which is definitely something I’d like to do more of. I think as time goes on I’d like to give my body a rest and do more design work, but I’ve still got a few years on-site in me!

About The Team

The rest of the FMN Gardens team is made up of a wide variety of professionals who are highly experienced in their respective fields, including electricians who are masters at garden lighting, brick and blockwork specialists, and more. Each of our team is dedicated to creating stunning results, whatever your needs and preferences.

We are delighted with how FMN landscapes turned our tired back yard into [a] lovely urban garden that we now are now able to enjoy. The weather was atrocious for much of the two week build but Harry and his team remained friendly and positive throughout. We would happily use FMN again and wholeheartedly recommend them for quality of work and professionalism.

Roman was very inventive and helpful at the planning stage. Once the job started the team worked tirelessly, at times in very bad weather. They were always punctual and polite. We had very good communication with Roman throughout the job and are very happy with the results!