Small Village Garden

This garden belonged to a Grade II listed early Georgian school house in a central village location. A new oak-framed extension had recently been built with large picture windows looking out on to the garden.

The largely shrub planting had become rather overgrown, and in some cases diseased, and was taking up a lot of room for very little aesthetic gain. An irregular shaped island flower bed dominated the middle of the garden and made it feel a lot smaller than it actually was.

Initially the clients engaged me consult on options, which I followed up with a written report. I encouraged them to think about the garden as a whole and to avoid making piecemeal changes without a clear idea of the final result they wanted. The final layout would therefore be coherent and decisions made now in one area would not adversely affect other areas or involve unnecessary cost later on.

I was then commissioned to prepare a concept design from which a phased implementation could be undertaken over several years, starting with the patio and pathways.
The property is close to a public footpath and overlooked by neighbours, so the clients were keen to maintain privacy and screening on that boundary. In addition, they wanted to attract wildlife to the garden and retain some lawn space.

Although small, the garden was approximately square in shape. Taking my clue from the style of the new extension’s roof, I designed the whole garden at 45° to the house, which widened its perspective and created some interesting angles to work with. With wildlife in mind, I included a shallow pond and, after discussing the merits of rain gardens with the clients, linked this to a surface rill that would carry rainwater to it from the garage roof, and then overflow into a boggy planting area. Next to this, I placed a timber deck to provide a second sitting area for evening drinks and a different view of the garden. Strategically placed tree planting and a new hedge would provide privacy screening on the boundary.

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