Archive for the 'Garden' Category

Posted: May 18, 2023

Contemporary Rill Garden

The owners brief for this Cotswold stone property was to provide them with an new, exciting, contemporary garden with a wow factor – a place where they could relax and entertain their family and friends. The site was an open canvas, where only a few trees (of no value) needed to be removed.

A large rill plays centre stage, curving out into the garden, expanding the space. The water reflects the sky and the encircling bold swathes of planting. Bowl fountains punctuate the rill, providing soft sound and ripples in the water. Terraces and pathways are constructed of smooth Darleymoor buff Yorkstone, giving a light air to the garden and mirroring the inside to out. Bull-nosed paving, which gives a smooth continuous edge to the rill perimeter. Yorkstone setts add contrast to the pathways that lead towards and encircle the central focal point featuring a dramatic contemporary steel sculpture. Sweeping bold borders of structural grasses surround the rill, giving movement and texture with hues changing from greens to bronze throughout the seasons. Weaving through the grasses to add contrast are plantings of spring bulbs, alliums, lavender and salvias. Beautiful large stone planters (seasonally planted), give accent to the terraces and add interest to the outside seating areas and an impacting view out from the house. A stylish architect designed a covered dining area with inbuilt kitchen and an outdoor fire place compliments the style of the garden perfectly. Subtle lighting enhances the garden at night, highlighting the rill and a few other garden elements.

Flowing borders encircle the garden which are filled with shrubs and massed planting of perennials. Colours flow from one zone to another, from hot tones to more muted hues. Ornamental trees provide blossom, structure, autumn colour and frame the views of the fields beyond with a hornbeam hedge providing a barrier to the cold winter winds. A gate leads out from the garden into the children’s play area and on the perimeter, there are grass mounds planted with multi-stem birch trees.

An exciting modern garden with strong flowing lines, planted for all the seasons to give a dramatic landscape for the owners to enjoy.

This garden won the Association of Landscapers Award for the Best Overall Garden.

Posted: May 16, 2023

A Country Retreat

The main house of this recently constructed property is of a modern design, situated just a few metres from the house is a lovely timber framed cottage which is used as a visitors snug.

The clients brief was to design and build a garden (in the main of formal lines) to blend the old and newer buildings with paths to take you on a journey around the garden to experience the different zones, styles and functions. Requirements to include:- terraces around the house, an outside dining area, a tree lined lawn, a sunken garden with fire pit, a rose garden, pergola, herb garden, a hot tub and sauna, a pond for Koi carp and an area for children’s play. Planting was to be a mix of contemporary and traditional, with trees and shrubs on the boundaries to provide privacy from the few overlooking properties.

The site in part had been an old farm yard, requiring a massive removal of debris. Once cleared, a garden has been created in which her clients can relax and meander through various garden zones, connected by pathways and terraces, each area with its own theme. Overlooked from the main house is a parterre rose garden with mass planting of the beautiful Rosa Bocobel and Rosa Queen of Sweden, surrounded with box hedging and infilled with lavender and salvias. A central contemporary fountain links paths from the house to the cottage and through to an avenue of Pyrus Chanticleer trees, leading the eye to a distant bench and the countryside beyond.

Classic oak pergolas covered with rambling roses separate the parterre garden from the rest of the garden. On either side of a pergola walkway are large borders brimming with shrubs and perennials, here soft accents of pinks, whites and purples create a feeling of cool air. Stepping stones meandering through plantings of grasses and hydrangeas, which leads you on into a pond garden encircled by acers (for superb autumn colour) and Cornus Kousa (for its late spring stunning display). A field area for family activities is softened at the edges with mass contemporary plantings of grasses, dog woods, amelanchier, which are overlooked by a lounging area bordered with shrubs of mainly oranges, amber and yellows for summer colour. To the side of the main house is a sunken fire pit and nearby, a gravel herb garden is adorned with an abundance of terracotta pots. At the back of the house is a decked area for a sauna and hot tub where tall bamboo give dappled screening from the neighbouring properties. Terraces around the property provide places for seating and outside dining.

A garden that is now bursting full of seasonal interest realising all the requirements of the clients brief

This garden has been featured in various David Austin Handbooks of Roses and was used for the front cover of their 2022 Calendar.

Posted: May 14, 2023

Sculpture Garden Oxfordshire

Lovers of contemporary sculpture, the owners of this Cotswold property wished to create in their grounds, gardens, each with their own selected work of art as a focal point to create dramatic impact. Each garden to be softened with planting that compliments the individual art pieces.

The Rill Garden. The conservatory overlooks this elegant garden with a central rill that draws the eye over the water towards a still pond which reflects a stunning white sculpture in the form of a reclining maiden. In late spring, white tulips and purple alliums light up the structured borders, followed on with an abundance of lavender, shrub roses and perennials with graceful hydrangea paniculata extending the season.

The White Garden. A garden to meander through with a natural edge of woodland theme enhanced with a muted palette of greens, whites, limes and creams, punctuated with skimmia and choysia for an evergreen backdrop. The softly curved borders have continuous flowering throughout the seasons. A glorious Cornus controversa umbrella tree is the sentinel of the garden and in a linked courtyard a splendid Japanese acer sits in a contemporary planter to soften the space.

Swimming Pool Garden. The existing terraces were extended to provide a good area for the family to relax by the pool and borders have been planted to give maximum interest during the summer months. A cool, stone torso nests in the central border. For contrast, splashes of colourful flowers including buddleia, iris, penstemon, euphorbia, salvias and sedum brighten the space, whilst domed variegated pittosporum provide structure and symmetry.

Parterre Rose Garden. Leading out from the pool through timber gates, you enter this garden of contrast. Encased with eleganus hedging and Cotswold stone walls, paths were created to lead to a central contemporary steel sculpture brought from the owners previous property. Framing the sculpture, multi-stemmed Malus toringo trees bring spring blossom to the garden before it bursts into a mass display of burnt orange roses, under-planted with a carpet of blue geraniums.

Prairie Garden. Huge corten steel pears dominate above sweeps of graceful grasses, interspersed with dazzling bold swaves of perennials, enriched with orange and bronze flowers that glow in the evening light. Autumn breezes add movement and winter frosts give fabulous structure until a wonderful display of bulbs take over in the spring. Graceful steel edged pathways cut through the planting with low benches providing a place to sit and contemplate the vision.

The Lake. A major project was to form a small lake in the foreground of the property to create impact on arrival. Reflections of the sky expand the space to give an air of calm and serenity. Set amongst a bed of iris and reeds, a minimalistic curved sculpture adds dimension, whilst a central fountain brings drama and movement. Lush planting fills the banks with a backdrop of dog woods and acers for winter colour, all viewed from a seating deck nestling in the reeds.

This garden offers a wonderful experience to wander through a landscape of changing moods, each with its own particular charm.

Posted: May 10, 2023

Swimming Pool Garden

The clients brief for this town garden was for a contemporary design to provide terraces with planted borders around their house and existing swimming pool and to integrate a new pool house. Conifer hedging gave a dark background to the boundaries, which was to be retained for privacy from the neighbouring properties. Existing large rhododendrons were also to be saved.

Jura Beige Limestone was selected for the terraces, to lighten and expand the space, which was punctuated with York stone setts to provide interest and define areas. Long borders were created to flank the pool and to give an illusion of lengthening the garden. The main accent tree is Osmanthus heterophyllus, adding evergreen structure, height and to part screen and soften the conifer hedge at the end of the garden. A beautiful Cornus contraversa Variegata and an Acer sangukaku affords winter interest and the borders are planted for seasonal interest smothered with fresh greens, whites, limes and splashes of bright pinks giving an ever changing scene. A vegetable garden and greenhouse are screened from the main garden by evergreen Eleagnus hedging. Shaded borders at the end and sides of the garden are punctuated with rhododendrons, acers, Magnolia stellata and Skimmia Kew Green. These are underplanted with lush evergreen ferns, hostas, foxgloves, perennial geraniums and hydrangea paniculata to lengthen the summer colour.

This garden is now a wonderful secluded haven for retreat and relaxation.

Posted: May 9, 2023

Town Garden with Roses

Situated in a quiet residential street, this town house garden was mainly a blank canvas with very limited space for outside dining and entertaining. The owners required screening from overlooking properties, a large terrace area, a small garden store, plenty of planting including some roses and a route to wander around the garden.

Now a raised terrace for outdoor dining overlooks a lower grass pathway. This is flanked with borders filled with a cool palate of lush planting, tones of greens, whites, creams, limes and purples. Pittosporum act as repeated sentinels, giving structure and winter interest. The borders are bursting full of buddleia, white roses, penstemon, salvia, alcamilla mollis with hydrangeas to give long seasonal interest. Crab apple trees Malus Everest have been planted along a new contemporary fence to provide soft screening from the overlooking properties, giving both spring blossom and tiny orange fruit in the autumn for ever changing interest. An attractive painted garden shed acts as a focal point at the end a grass pathway, which leads you on to meander around the garden

A trellis archway planted with climbing roses draws the eye to the front garden. Here, the colour palette changes to warm pinks, blues and purples. Cherry trees, Pink Perfection with their wonderful spring display give dappled privacy from nearby houses. An evergreen hedge, Prunus lucitanica, divides the garden from the road and variegated euonymus domes provide good contrast against the dark leaved hedge. A pretty garden seat nestles in the borders full of lavender, deep purple penstemon, nepeta and slavias with accents of soft pink roses to add height and contrast.

A lovely garden haven in which the owners can now relax, entertain & enjoy the feeling of privacy.

Posted: May 9, 2023

Village Garden Planting Project

This property is situated in the heart of a small village estate. The owners brief was to bring their garden to life with a planting scheme of a contemporary style to fill the existing formal terraced borders. Plants and tones to be of a limited palate of mainly greens, limes, whites and purples.

Tall Portuguese laurel already provided some privacy from neighbouring properties, Pyrus Chanticleer trees now softly screen the overlooked sides of the garden. Three multi-stemmed crab apple trees add height and structure to the central borders, bringing beautiful spring blossom and small fruits for a glorious autumn show. To extend the season, evergreen pyracantha with its bright berries add splashes of bright orange, whilst tall grasses brings texture and movement through the winter months. During summer, mounds of lavender, salvia and geraniums fill the garden and for foliage contrast, small variegated shrubs and choysia punctuate the borders. In spring time miniature narcissus and purple and white tulips emerge to steal the show. A multitude of seasonally planted terracotta pots break up the hard landscaping.

At the end of the garden a small pool reflects the sky and overhanging sedges. White roses and late flowering hydrangeas give a cool air. Here, a garden seat provides a perfect place to sit and admire the scene.

Posted: May 9, 2023

Stone House on a Hill

This newly built and stunning Cotswold Stone House proudly stands at the top of a hill, close to Stratford upon Avon with wonderful and far-reaching views over the local country side.

The house grounds began as a building site, the previous property having been demolished with only the original garden remaining. The house interior is furnished in a contemporary style and the owners wished to reflect this in their overall design. Their requirements were to include a rill in the main garden that could be viewed from the entrance hall.

The garden sloped up from the house towards the fields beyond, so new levels were established to form terraces and raised planting beds. A central rill was constructed with water flowing down from an upper bowl fountain into two lower pools with bell fountains, towards the house below. The walls and steps were built in stone to compliment the buildings. The grounds were divided into areas by hornbeam hedges to provide interest, to shield the adjacent fields and to give protection from the harsh winter winds.

Each garden was given a different colour accent – the main garden, apricots and warm pinks, the long garden blues and yellows, the herb garden lavender and the rose garden burnt oranges.

At the front of the property, a still circular pool blends with a wild flower meadow. Swathes of grasses blow in the wind, complimented by flowers of soft creams and whites.

This beautiful garden was constructed over a two year period and has now matured. The wide borders are filled with tall evergreen shrubs for winter accent and softened with massed plantings of colourful perennials and gentle grasses.

Posted: May 9, 2023

Small Town Garden

This long and narrow partially shaded garden of a terraced house in the centre of Leamington Spa was completely overgrown with large shrubs thus leaving little space for anything else.

After initial discussions, the owner decided to have the whole site cleared. The client’s brief was to produce a contemporary design that provided a small paved area by the house, an area for entertaining at the end of the garden, a storage shed and a utility area. Also required was some privacy from the neighbouring properties.

The design partitioned the site into three garden rooms giving the illusion of a more spacious area by using two simple pergolas trained with white climbing wisteria and blue clematis as a dividing framework. Planting has been kept to a limited palette using greens, creams and pale blues with splashes of warm pinks in the summer. A small seating area constructed in sandstone by the house gives views through the pergola to the lawn beyond. Partially shaded borders have been planted with climbing and shrub hydrangeas, hostas, heucherellas, choisya and nandina domestica for all year interest. Bamboos were positioned along the side border to give subtle evergreen privacy from the neighbouring property. In the middle garden a small lawn was laid with a stepping stone pathway linking the three gardens together. Four small decorative pear trees were positioned either side of this garden to shield distant buildings. The pale cream rose Litchfield Angel highlights the borders in the summer with blue ceanothus bushes for bright spring colour. At the end of the garden, there is ample room for alfresco entertaining and a screened utility area softened with semi evergreen honeysuckle. Subtle under lighting enhances the planting, bringing the garden to life at night.

The owner of this property is now able to enjoy sitting in the afternoon sun, surrounded by borders full of beautiful lush planting. Divided into ‘rooms’ gives the illusion that this garden is much more spacious and that at the same time, creates different areas of focal interest.

Posted: May 9, 2023

Country Estate with a Lake & Pool

Situated in the Warwickshire countryside, this property had been completely refurbished. The tired looking 1960’s garden was on a bank, which graded down towards a partially obscured overgrown lake in the distance.

The client’s brief was to provide a swimming pool, a pool house for entertaining with changing facilities, new lawns and a re-landscape of the grounds, including extending and replanting the lake.

The design split the sloping site into various levels. Leading out from the house, an upper lawn area was created with borders punctuated with box balls and plantings of purple and cerise flowers, rose covered pergolas, mosaics, and york stone pathways, with steps leading down to the swimming pool garden.

An oak framed pool house has far reaching views across the swimming pool, terraces and lawns over a ha-ha down to the grounds and lake beyond. The borders are filled with a bold exotic planting scheme. Shrubbery and some tired trees were removed to give an uninterrupted view of the new lake with its breeze house, boat deck and luscious planting. The grounds are full of perennials, shrubs and ornamental trees to give all year round interest. iThese incude cherry trees, Japanese acers, silver birches, rowans, dog woods, cotinus grace, lacecap hydrangeas, white shrub roses, hostas and iris siberica. The finished garden was lit with a subtle low lighting ambiance to bring the garden to life at night.

The stunning garden was completed on time for a family wedding held in its grounds. The urns and entrance way were planted with flowers to tone with the bridal colours.

Posted: May 9, 2023

Town Garden Beside a Copse

The clients of this property had recently added a new conservatory onto their lounge and wanted to look out on to a garden full of interest with plenty of space to entertain their friends. The existing garden was very dated, laid mostly to lawn with small borders and overgrown shrubs. The ground rose sharply on one side leading up to a garden shed and gateway to a local park. A silver birch tree in the centre of the garden had a preservation order, so it had to remain.

All of the existing large shrubs were removed, new levels formed, the ground excavated a retaining wall built to form raised planting borders and an upper lounging area in front of the garden shed.

The design included a lower terrace, constructed in sandstone paving to encircle the conservatory. A circular pool forms the main focal point built behind the retaining wall, with water gently falling from a shoot on to stones below. Phormiums and grasses give a striking backcloth and separate the upper terrace from the main garden with a simple pergola, planted with honeysuckle and clematis. The garden shed was repainted to give a more contemporary look. A sloping pathway constructed with new railway sleepers is shielded from the terrace by a small bamboo hedge, to form a hidden route around the side of the garden. The planting scheme includes hydrangeas, peonies, shrub roses, honeysuckle, anemones, geraniums and alchemilla mollis that blend in naturally with the woodland copse beyond the garden fence.

This lovely garden now flows with soft lines with wider borders, a new lawn now surrounds the birch tree and curved steps link the lawn with the upper terrace. A perfect place to for the family to relax and enjoy the scene all through the seasons.