A message from the SGLH Board of Trustees
Vanessa Jane Leonie Stephen was born on 5th April 1964 in London and grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb. In 1982 Vanessa moved to Edinburgh to study a degree in landscape architecture at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University. Her first job upon graduating was at Lambeth Council, afterwards Vanessa took a year out to study garden design in Florence, before returning to start a new job with Associated Architects in Birmingham. In the early 1990’s she moved back to Edinburgh, a city she had grown to love, to work for the Turnbull Jeffery Partnership, whose office was on the Royal Mile.
After the partnership dissolved, she formed her own practice, Vanessa Stephen Landscape Architect and continued to work with Mark Turnbull, who was her friend and mentor for more than twenty years. Vanessa worked on projects large and small, varying from country estates to housing estates. For many years Vanessa was a Trustee of Scotland’s Gardens and Landscape Heritage, and in 2022 became Chair. On the 12 January 2023 a small, intimate funeral service to celebrate Vanessa’s life was held at Binning Memorial Wood, East Lothian.