October 8, 2016
An elegant, National Trust-classified house sets the stage for this relaxed, family garden with its emphasis on soft perennial planting and expansive areas of lawn.
The existing front garden was well established, so the design brief focused on the rear garden only. Our starting point was to open up the garden at the back of the house and create a feeling of space. A mature Chinese elm initially overwhelmed much of the area; this was retained but its canopy has been significantly reduced. A large lawn was then designed to unfold from the main terrace towards generous plant borders bounded by a dark fence, which together give the illusion of greater depth.
The informal garden beds are abundant with flowering shrubs and perennials, carefully chosen for their colour, texture and extended season of interest. A multi-layered approach to planting allows many different varieties to be incorporated, including Lagerstroemia, Buddleja, Agastache, Salvia, Achillea, Alchemilla, Geranium, Anemone, Sedum and Hedychium. The planting has been intentionally kept low to take advantage of the unique view to a neighbouring church tower and the open sky.
Hard surfaces have been kept to a minimum in order to maintain a casual feel. Creeping white thyme weaves between the slate tiles of the terrace, while climbing roses intertwined with clematis soften the lines of a pergola. A pool featuring Italian glass tiles has been partially concealed by placing it to the side of the property, but its alignment with the front face of the terrace also ensures that children can be supervised from the dining area or lawn.
The end result is a stylish yet informal family garden that complements its heritage home and makes the most of surrounding views, while providing a casual, open space for outdoor dining, relaxation and play.