The concept for this space is to create a garden without borders. It will be a series of open and intricate spaces with internal views across the garden and wider external views across a more extensive landscape. A highly sculptural landform cut into the existing ground profile will create interest and a viewing point across the neighbouring landscape. Other features include a sunken fire pit, ornamental pond, wildflower walk and games lawn. A peripheral walk will link these areas. It will be a garden that is understated and contemporary and will fit seamlessly into its setting.
This garden had received a considerable makeover during the late 1920's when the house was extended, which included the addition of a kidney shaped swimming pool. The owners were keen to use the pool area more so we designed a pavilion that is positioned at a confluence of vistas to provide shelter for dining alfresco and an additional feature in the garden. The walls are lathe and plaster and the conical roof from a local slate. Many of the design changes in this garden here were set within an existing structure, such as the internal beech hedges that had been crenelated and we clipped into soft undulations to mirror the surrounding hills. Even in winter, the planting structure continues to provide interest, as do the natural hazel plant supports.
Very little garden existed on this site when the client bought it and much of the garden that did exist had been neglected for some time. The house is located at the highest point and its rear elevation is close to the boundary, which leaves a shallow, linear space for the garden area. We extended the garden by creating a deep grass terrace into the wider landscape below the house. An informal run of steps links this more formal cut grass terrace to a lower wildflower meadow. In the lower level of the garden we planted an orchard, improved an existing vegetable garden and designed an entrance courtyard. What were incidental and open spaces in the existing garden were planted to become unexpected places where it is possible to sit and capture the view. Although a contemporary feel to the architecture of the garden was needed to blend with the house, there is a strong influence of Arts and Crafts in its style and attention to detail, especially in the application of rural skills, such as drystone walling.
gloucestershire garden II
One of the most ambitious garden schemes that we have been commissioned to create. Our clients bought a small cottage with the aim to build a country house with a garden to match. The location of the new house at the base of a steep gradient demanded that the construction of any garden close to the house be cut into the limestone bedrock. Here we created a formal parterre in front of an orangery and recessed arched niches to mirror the architecture of the building. Wood, stone and metal work were all beautifully crafted by local artisans.
gloucestershire garden III
For a large scale country house this property has surprisingly little space near the main house to garden. It's location on one side of an extensive valley with a wooded backdrop provides a natural setting that would be complicated by too much formal garden. It was possible to impose a detailed and intricate space without unsettling this naturalness by clearing an existing dense shrubbery. It sits quietly on the rear of a walled courtyard where the west facing aspect creates the perfect place for flowering plants to thrive. Parkland trees to the north afford protection from cold winds and screen the busy planting from the quiet wider landscape.
oxfordshire garden II
The borders in this garden had become tired and exhausted through lack of regular soil amelioration and nutrition. The client commissioned us to redesign the planting content with the brief to be looking at its best during the summer months when it would be most likely to be seen when the swimming pool alongside was in use.
CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT and research
I work in collaboration with other disciplines, including archaeologists, ecologists, conservation architects and landscape architects to provide a comprehensive service to clients. I have produced conservation management plans for the National Trust gardens at Melford Hall, Suffolk and a conservation statement for Max Gate, Dorchester. I regularly publish my research, which has recently included work on the conservation of Cedrus libanii, The life and works of Capability Brown and Repton in Sussex.
I am pleased to have been commissioned by Duncan Hamilton and in collaboration with Guy Matheson, Associate Director at SHH Architects to design and build a landscape park to surround their car sales facility in Hampshire. This once brownfield site has become a green oasis with formal lawn, serpentine walks, grass viewing terraces and lavender field.