“Lear Associates has a very client-focussed approach: the effort made to meet the brief but also to give added value has been much appreciated.   I would highly recommend them to any client.  Michael and Beverley Lear are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable that you cannot fail to be hugely inspired by their thoughts on your garden or collection, and the potential it has.”

Sian Harrington, CEO of Fulham Palace Trust.

“Lear Associates have provided St John’s College with their highly professional services over many years on projects both small and large. We have found them to be highly skilled at looking to the past and the future for inspiration. Their practical guidance and design creativity is helping us translate ideas into gardens that make our college landscape even more beautiful than before, and their expertise makes a difference that we know will be valued for years to come.”

Professor Rosalind Harding, Keeper of the Groves, St John’s College, Oxford.

“As Head Gardener of Bodnant Garden I feel tremendously privileged to have had access to the depth of knowledge and expertise of Lear Associates who contributed to the work of our recently completed Conservation Management Plan. Michael, Beverley and Fiona are passionate and inspirational consultants who have provided invaluable insights into the historic development of the garden as well as the significance of the extensive plant collection.  Their help and advice has transformed my understanding and provided a solid base for any future garden developments to be undertaken in a sensitive and confident manner.”

John Rippin, Head Gardener for National Trust Bodnant Gardens, Wales.                

“Lear Associates were commissioned to provide a scoping study in 2016/17 for the Annesley Gardens, Castlewellan, Northern Ireland. This garden was developed from the 1850’s by the 4th and then 5th Earl Annesley. It is now recognized of national and international importance for its collection of trees. 

Michael and Beverley Lear bring with them a significant horticultural knowledge and identification skills. They are at home both in developing new plantings – such as the Peace Maze established in 2001 and conservation and restoration. They understand the importance of studying the historical and cultural context to develop recommendations going forwards. Their passion for their subject is infectious. They have been most willing to talk to, and listen to, the views of the local community which has been greatly valued. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with them.” 

Dr Sally Montgomery OBE, Chair of Newry Mourne and Down Council’s Task and Finnish Board, Castlewellan, Northern Ireland.

“We have commissioned Lear Associates on two occasions to carry out a tree constraints plan on two separate properties in Warnborough Road which had a material impact on our plans to extend the properties.  In both situations we were extremely impressed with the professional and expert service we received.  It is obvious these guys know what they are talking about.  We were hugely impressed with the proactive and honest assessment we received to two complex situations.  The residential properties were in the Central Oxford conservation area and involved engaging with many stakeholders during the process.  Lear Associates were extremely responsive and guided us throughout to achieve a successful conclusion.“

Andre Bischoff, Oxford.

 “On behalf of a private client we have had a successful and collaborative relationship with Lear Associates for over 5 years.  Our experience with Lear Associates covers landscape design, garden planning and plant procurement and Michael has been instrumental in the appointment and management of staff as he has a real understanding of the client’s aspirations.  Our mutual understanding to achieving the objectives and goals on behalf of our client results in a collegiate relationship with results.” 

Gordon Kerr, Director Estate Management, Savills, Dumfries.

“The Chamberlain Highbury Trust has very much appreciated Michael Lear’s work with our garden volunteers on the restoration of Joseph Chamberlain’s late 19th century Rhododendron Garden at Highbury, his Birmingham home. Neglected since 1914 the Rhododendron Garden is greatly overgrown and suffused with R. ponticum and bracken. Michael has directed the volunteers in the pruning and shaping of overgrown specimens and the selected removal of invasive species. An important part of the project has been Michael’s instruction on the techniques of the layering of historically significant species which are no longer readily available in the nursery trade.”

Phillada Ballard, Trustee of Chamberlain Highbury Trust, Birmingham.