Jo Thompson

Much of Jo’s childhood was spent in Italy, firstly in Rome, then as a student in Venice, followed by long summers at the family’s Tuscan home nestled in the Sienese hills. The architecture and art of Italy inspires much of her work and her exquisite planting has led her to be considered one of the UK’s leading plantswomen. Current projects include the regeneration of the walled gardens at Water Lane in Kent, the planting surrounding a 16th Century house in Sussex, a roof garden in Rome, the new Winter Garden at RHS Rosemoor and a naturalistic garden in Connecticut. She is also working with Gustafson Porter + Bowman on the restoration of Highgate Cemetery in London.

Jo speaks both nationally and internationally, she is a Fellow of the Landscape Institute, a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers and a Trustee of Bankside Open Spaces Trust. Jo is a member of the RHS Gardens Committee and Garden Advisor for RHS Rosemoor, an RHS judge, as well as being a member of the RHS Show Gardens Selection Panel.  She is a visiting tutor at the London College of Garden Design.

A lover and expert on roses, Jo was invited to create a series of ‘rose recipes’ for distinguished rose grower David Austin Roses for the 2024 Handbook of Roses. She is the author of The Gardener’s Palette, which explores the use of colour to create atmosphere and year-round interest in every garden. Her second book on garden design, publishing in 2025, will look at the allure and magic of romantic gardens.

The Gardening Mind, Jo’s weekly newsletter and gardening community on Substack has attracted over 12,000 subscribers. Here Jo has created a go-to community of how-tos, visits to inspirational places, planting advice and garden design advice for all kinds of gardens and gardeners. 

Portrait of Jo Thompson by Rachel Warne