Large Garden with History, Wilts

Project:

Large garden surrounding an historic property originally dating from the early 15th century and having been extended over a 500 year period.  Situated in a village location in a conservation area.

Brief:

To design a garden that was sympathetic to the history of the property to be used for relaxation and entertaining.  The site was divided into 7 areas, some of which contained ancient Yew hedges.  It was important to create a flow and sense of journey linking the different parts of the garden. The main entertaining space was too small and the other areas lacked purpose and were mainly laid to lawn with shrub borders. The clients wanted seating areas in sun and shade, a wildflower meadow, a kitchen garden and space for grandchildren to play. A range of hard landscaping materials was present and needed simplifying to work with the materials used in the house itself.

My Solution:

I designed a garden that paid homage to the long history of the house, whilst being set firmly in the 21st century.  The space was unified through the design’s shape, inspired by the Renaissance period, with emphasis on avenues, axes and sight lines. I divided it into rooms, each having a purpose or focal point. The geometric design is centred on a courtyard, with a series of concentric squares and cross axes formed by paths.

I took inspiration for planting and materials from the 20th century Arts and Crafts Movement. Materials emulate those used in the house; pale stone, handmade bricks and an oak pergola and planting is full, spilling over paths.

As there are no major views to be had outside the garden, I wanted the garden to be introspective and feel intimate.  Inspired by Medieval gardens, I used rows of trees creating walkways with glimpses to the rest of the garden. A large enclosed courtyard terrace with space for entertaining has a wall fountain focal point. A turf seat for relaxing has views over a flowery meadow.

Structure in the garden echoes the Tudor period with its symmetry and formality and includes topiary, clipped hedges, a tiered fountain, large rectangular pond and formal lawn.

The design, however, remains contemporary with clean lines and controlled elements such as clipped hedging, mown paths and topiary juxtaposed with natural, loose planting. A potager, though it has roots in the past, is brought up to date with flowering plants, obelisks and topiary for all year interest.

This was my final live college project as yet not built but gained me a distinction having been marked to a rigorous standard.