Refined Naturalism

This garden was featured in ‘My Kind of Garden’ by David Hicks and has some fantastic history associated with it.  The current owners first contacted me in November of 2002 through their architect and having addressed a couple of specific design issues initially, we’ve been working together ever since in developing the space and planting.

The original garden plan was laid out by the previous owners and we have a plan which shows all the initial areas and planting beds.  This plan includes formal lawns, a Lime Walk, a ‘Forthright’, a ‘Wild’ garden, a Ha Ha, an orchard with Medlars, Quinces and French Walnuts, a Parterre Garden and Croquet Lawn.  The spaces between each area are labelled with fantastically descriptive names such as ‘Run-along Walk’ and the ‘Trysting’ garden!

The initial brief was to concentrate on re-designing the area around a new extension to the farmhouse.  This then escalated into assistance with a couple of immediate areas of concern in other areas of the garden.  In the winters of 2001 and 2002 the garden suffered quite significant flooding and the beautiful ‘Forthright’ garden which is featured in David Hicks’ book in its full glory of Irish junipers and ‘Imperial Gem’ lavender looked in danger of being lost forever.  In addition to killing the lavender, the flooding spread Phytophthora around the Yews in the garden like wildfire and many beautiful old hedges were lost.  The project began with solutions for these areas and escalated into planting plans for almost the whole space.

I work closely with the Client to keep the essence of the original garden but to bring it more in keeping with the way that they want to garden with their time restraints, limited help and the changing weather conditions over the last few years.

An original rose garden that I suspect was used for decoration of the house and a permanent asparagus bed have unfortunately been lost to a swimming pool but we now have an amazing pool garden that looks out over the Ha Ha to the rural countryside surrounding the property.  The new pool garden falls in the same position as the original ‘Hot’ Border and we’ve kept this theme and created a garden with strong, vibrant colours and sun-loving plants.  Where the original owner had her ‘Almost-White’ Garden and her Blue & White Garden – we’ve got box-edged beds that are filled with blue, white and purple flowers that sit either side of the path leading up to the pool.

This is a good example of a long-term project where I’ve got to know the Client and the garden and we’re working together to create a space that suits the lifestyle of the owners, maximises the appearance of the architecture and is in sympathy with the wider landscape and the original garden plans.

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