WALLED – A MODERN COUNTRY GARDEN
“We wanted a contemporary look, in harmony with our house and brick wall. Amanda immediately captured the brief and her fantastic award-winning planting design has given us year round structure and interest; it has enhanced our love of gardening and our lives.” C&A C
This beautiful coach house near Taunton has part of the kitchen garden originally belonging to the adjacent manor house, and benefits from a wonderful high wall made of mellow old bricks, with a thatched summer house built in on the manor side.
The brief for the garden was that it should reflect the contemporary interior while resolving some practical issues of the existing layout.
The original features were aligned perpendicular to the house, accentuating the long, thin shape of the garden. The wall casts a shadow for most of the year, so there is a lot of shade; however the garden is also very sheltered, with substantial trees surrounding the property. My clients are also keen gardeners and had planted a box knot feature which was well established but very close to the house, leaving an uncomfortably narrow space for the terrace.
PAVED WITH DARK CONCRETE BLOCKS, THE TERRACE FELT REALLY SMALL AND POKY
While the house sits in this lovely sylvan bubble, the vistas don’t extend very far and so I felt it was important to keep the focus of attention within the garden itself, albeit framed by the wall and trees.
To resolve the issue of the narrow terrace, I designed two wide and shallow steps either side of the knot and laid these, and the terrace itself, with a new surface of a pale sawn Yorkstone, making the whole area feel a lot more spacious.
To balance out the long thin shape, I planted a double yew hedge with buttresses on the house side to form strong horizontal divisions across the garden. This draws the eye from side to side, making the garden feel much wider and creating better proportions for lawns and flower borders. Once mature, the yew walk will create a serene and still space to contrast with the main garden and borders, as well as providing a simple backdrop to the planting.
Beyond the yew, a herb garden has a central sunken brick-edged pond (which helps to keep the eye low), and key structural elements in the form of contrasting shapes of solid (box cubes) and transparent (Stipa gigantea grasses) to give unity to a varied plant group.
THIS GARDEN WON THE SOCIETY OF GARDEN DESIGNERS’ PLANTING DESIGN AWARD 2012
The judges commented that the garden showed “excellent seasonality. Overall a really good garden, not just great planting, with strong, structural design and wholesome planting. A strong winner.”