Brief: To create a relaxed country garden for a barn style new build which forms part of a rural development at an old brick works near Sandwich in Kent. Such a blank canvas is quite a daunting prospect and the clients came to me for help in turning the sea of clay into a beautiful garden to go with their lovely new house. Their requirements were for a patio for entertaining, a lawn for their dogs and grandchildren and for evergreen shrubs, flowers and colour. The other houses in the development needed to be screened where possible and the views out to the countryside kept as much as possible.
Solution: The starting point of the design was the three sets of large bi-fold doors at the back of the house, which make the garden visible from every room on the ground floor. As the garden is such an integral part of the house it needed to look good all year round. The clients wanted to avoid just having a boring, square expanse of paving, so it extends out into the garden slightly and has been broken up by planting beds, as well as planting against the house to soften all the hard elements. It was decided to replace the clay soil so a wide variety of plants could be grown and to aid drainage. A small shed built from the same materials as the house screens the patio from the neighbouring house. The lawn area was originally circular but had to be adapted into a rectilinear space to acommodate a large underground rainwater harvesting tank which was a later addition to the garden. Interest was created by having different areas to walk through and different views within the garden and out into the surrounding countryside.
As well as designing the garden I also advised on the construction, which was undertaken by the clients themselves, supplied the plants and spent a very enjoyable few days planting up the garden alongside the clients.