A large rural garden
A two-acre garden in a beautiful rural setting with a complex brief
Budget: £145,000 Design fee: £9,500
This is a rural garden in which the needs of the clients’ livestock, the need for privacy and the requirements of a keen gardener have to be satisfied, whilst also allowing for entertaining spaces at both sides of the house. Recontouring allows a large natural pond, fringed with reedbeds, to occupy the centre of the site. Around this the garden is arranged geometrically, with circles and squares interlocking to provide the ground plan, but given dynamism by a pattern of paths mown through the grass. The forward impetus implied by alternate narrowing and widening of these paths is a key concept of the design, in which the viewer is drawn through a private landscape, able to take a number of routes when exploring the garden. Axial views from the large deck, with its overview of the garden as a whole, lead the eye to a sculpted tree-stump at the far limits of the site and to the newly-raised mound near the entrance. Arrival at the property suggests the extent and excitement of the garden while an allee of species crab apple trees provides a sense of drama and occasion.
To the rear of the house, a large sunny courtyard provides entertaining space surrounded by soft, herb-centred gravel planting, a formal pool and productive potager.
In design terms this plan reworks the very grand landscape and baroque layouts of the eighteenth-century. Here, in a rustic, contemporary and informal mood appropriate to the site, are the vistas, walkways, changes of emphasis and direction common to these gardens, evoked in an intimate rather than expansive setting.