This garden featured on BBC Gardener’s World in a series on Garden design. This garden was chosen as its design works so well to disguise an awkward shaped plot. The garden was also open as part of the National Garden’s scheme for several years.
This is our own garden and, as anyone who has tried it will find, designing your own garden is very challenging as the space is so familiar. I also found myself rather too attached to plants which were actually in the wrong place.
In order to make the design possible, I discussed and agreed a design brief with the whole family and forced myself to go through all the phases in the design process.
We had the requirement for a separate his and her’s garden buildings (drum room and design studio respectively) and retaining a magnificent willow tree and as much of the existing screening as possible so the garden retained a sense of seclusion. We also wanted the garden to look good all year round. Views from the house were important and we wanted views to be predominantly green and to lead you out from he house into the garden.
Plenty of water should be used in the design and the sound of running water in one place. The garden should be relatively low maintenance with no roses (my husband hates them). We wanted to include the bug hotels made by sculptor Ella Struve and other natural sculptures by Spencer Jenkins from the RHS Hampton Court - Jordans wildlife garden.
A wildlife pond and beautiful hardwood deck creates a view point from the garden studio and separate seating areas provide a morning coffee area tucked into the planting and a larger sunny terrace for dining and evening BBQs.
A large organic species rich lawn provides space for family games with the added benefit of flowers for bees and foraging opportunities for ground feeding birds.
Curving paths lead around the garden and create a sense of movement. Planting curves around the lawn like a hug and the strong curved shapes within the garden distract from the shape of the plot which as the BBC pointed out is awkward.
The atmosphere of the garden is comforting and relaxing and because of the seclusion it is a sheltered and warm space, given just a little sunshine.