Walled garden to compliment a historical building
This listed building has been saved from falling into disrepair by it’s diligent owner. Grade II* listed, the main core of the building was built from 1411-12 with later 18th and 19th century additions. It has now been restored and the owner wished to create a garden. This walled garden has 3m high walls enclosing it, with a passageway providing vehicle assess from the street. The garden design brief included two functional challenges, firstly and above all, no new elements of the garden should cause damage to any of the existing architecture and secondly, the design needed to incorporate vehicle access and parking as there is no alternative on the property. From a style standpoint the client favoured bold design in the sense of materials and colours, having admired the Majorelle garden in Marrakech this became an inspiration and influence in the final garden design.
We created a garden that has strong blocks of colour through the use of contemporary, outsized planters. Colour is not only present in the planters but throughout the planting: the white branches of a multi-stemmed birch can be admired throughout winter and the framework of shiny mahogany branches of the tibetan cherry can be enjoyed before and after the trees blossom emerges or fades. The planting within ground level beds needed to be substantial and have structure in order to compete with the dominant architecture of the stone walls that enclose the garden. Evergreen shrubs were planted that will be cloud pruned into undulating forms as they grow, further structure is introduced through the form of rosemary shrubs and ornamental grasses and perennials flow through the beds to add a contrast in texture.
Two paths constructed from black limestone setts lead the eye from the house down the garden, the paths offer a smooth transition through the space and also a border to the beds at the end of the garden. Here a break in the beds allows placement of a solid wood bench from which the garden can be enjoyed. It was crucial that the garden could be enjoyed from within the house and so a cantilever oak pergola sits in front of the wall giving support to three Wisteria climbers that can scramble up and along creating a fantastic display in late Spring. The pergola is a beautiful structure and breaks the dominance of the rear wall. Flint gravel surfacing provides a hard landscaping surface that can be driven over and works well with the setts and stone walls, and more importantly is of a size that is comfortable for the owner’s dog’s paws.