A magnificent property with over 2000m2 of gardens. The gardens, which were untouched for many years, required a complete redesign from the first principals.
Garden Design Brief
To maximise the use of existing mature trees and the topography of the rear garden the client had several objectives.
- Level Lawn
- Woodland Walk
- Informal Planting
- Children’s Play Area
The front of the property was also to have a full makeover.
A Completely New Lawn
Having excavated 160 tons of unsuitable clay-based soil, Karl and the team began to install the new lawn. This started with the laying of 100 linear metres of drainage to soakaways. On top of this 80 tons of new soil, medium to support the new lawn was layered and compacted. This made the perfect base on which to lay the 800 rolls of turf.
The newly formed elevation of the garden gave the perfect platform to create a woodland walk. Edged in a rustic style with treated timber this bark-based walkway meanders from one side of the garden to the other. This allows the client to enjoy their garden from different angles offering alternative vistas of their rear garden space.
Children’s Play Area
A change in elevation of nearly 3 metres and a useable run of 40 metres gave sufficient space for a zip wire. The landing area for the zip wire sits at the lowest point of the garden. Here there is a Cherry tree with a swing. Alongside this Karl set rocks into the bank creating a rock scramble running up to the lawn.
The plants in the garden were split into zones determined by their preference for light or shade. Sun-loving perennials such as Ligularia ‘Gregynod Gold’ and Sanguisorba ‘Tanna’ cover the banking alongside the zip wire run while shade-loving Hosta and ferns sit in the shade of a fallen Willow. As well as adding interest the plants, through their root systems, add stability by helping hold the bank in place.
Steep slopes needed an element of support. Incidental rocks called Slabby Rockery Stone were the perfect choice for size and appearance.
Front of House
The garden beds immediately to the front of the house were planted as mirror images of each other. An arrangement of Ilex crenata balls sit behind a single Cornus kousa ‘Venus’; the focal point for each bed. Surrounding these are swathes of Stipa tenuissima interspersed with Centaurea montana ‘Jordy’ to add splashes of colour.
These prominent beds are softly illuminated during the evenings providing a warm welcome.
Curved Clay Paver Driveway
The final element of this project was the 350m2 driveway. Karl was inspired to use the existing lines of the front flower beds to create the basis for a curve. This flowed through the entire scheme; it sweeps you from one side of the drive to the other. With no compromise on materials, Chelmer Valley handmade clay pavers were the obvious choice.
Approach to the project overall
“Passionate, and creative….really thought through every inch of garden and added some much value. Lots of partnership and patience. Really understood the brief and the personality of the family.”
“Really inspiring…great attention to detail….really pushed the boundaries to create something outstanding”
“Really imaginative yet practical. Brilliant choices on plants.”
The quality of the project
“Top quality, really added value to the house….and transformed the experience of living here”
“Fantastic and where there were snags they were quickly resolved”
Credits and Further Information
Location Seer Green
Materials Chelmer Valley, London Stone, Country Supplies, Lathams, CED, Rochford’s.
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