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Recreating an English Garden

Transform Landscapes were contracted to carry out the garden build which required both soft and hard landscaping.

Author: Simon Gray
Categories: Case study, Borders & planting, Soft landscaping, Hard landscaping, Driveways, Patios & terraces, Walls & steps, Gates & fencing
Date: 1st December 2017

Project brief:

Downsizing your garden can be as challenging as downsizing your house especially if you are coming from a large country house with four acres of beautiful traditional English garden to a much smaller garden.

The client wanted to recreate a miniature version of their original English garden to compliment the traditional brick and flint cottage but also required certain practicalities. These included a lawn area where the grandchildren could play, a generous parking area, privacy and a garden that was easy to maintain. The clients also wanted to take advantage of the excellent views and create a flow from the living area through to the outside space.

Completed works:

Jennifer Gayler who had designed the client’s previous garden was appointed to create the new design and Transform Landscapes were contracted to carry out the garden build which required both soft and hard landscaping.

The existing garden posed many challenges as it sloped upwards away from the house and was overlooked by neighbours on all sides except to the west. The garage and oil tank were also very visible, and the rear of the house which is very long, meant the paved area would look thin.

To create a bigger paved area, Transform Landscape followed Jennifer Gayler plans and levelled out the front of the garden nearest to the house. The hard landscape team then built a staggered retaining wall with two flights of steps up the lawn area. This immediately created movement through the garden and a sense of space. The retaining walls were built using brick and flint to blend in with 17th century architecture of the cottage and more recent extension.

Natural grey sandstone was then used by the hard landscaping team to build a paved outside area with an attractive decorative circular detail and a pathway from the house to the driveway. To meet the clients, brief a large spacious driveway was created using traditional block material.

In collaboration with Jennifer Gayler the soft landscaping team implemented the planting scheme. Yew hedging, and evergreen standard trees were planted to creating screening and separate areas in the garden. The use of evergreens, yew and box hedge plants ticked several boxes for the client in terms of a traditional English garden and proving all year-round interest in the garden. The box hedge plant which is a classic topiary plant would also be easy to maintain.

A planting scheme of shrubs and herbaceous borders were then introduced to create a traditional English style of garden. The client wanted all their favourite herbaceous plants from the old garden such as Verbena and Gaura to be incorporated within the planting scheme. Herbs were planted in the raised borders shaped by the newly built retaining walls around the paved area and existing brick walls to create a kitchen garden.

The results:

Transform Landscape successfully built the garden to specification meeting all the requirements of Jennifer Gayler garden design. The building materials and plants have given a quality to the garden normally associated with larger projects and blend in with the surrounding architecture and village landscape.

Each area has been transformed giving a feeling of space but retaining a level of privacy. The clients are delighted with the results and were impressed with the high standard of workmanship and level of professionalism. The clients were also very happy with their walled garden which provides a pretty foreground to the stunning view to the west and the general flow of the garden which extends the living areas to the outside for alfresco dining. The grandchildren are also happy with their grassed area where they can play and the variety of plants for more sensory activities with their grandparents.

“My inspiration came from the client’s previous garden which I also created. It is almost a miniature version of the four-acre English garden with all their favourite features condensed into a smaller area. Transform Landscape have done a wonderful job of implementing my design and creating planting schemes which look enchanting in this village garden. They have also delivered great craftsmanship with the construction of the walls, paths and paved areas – it all blends in seamlessly with the existing architecture.”

"We were given daily updates throughout the process and it was really nice to see the garden take shape. Everything we asked for has been incorporated in the design by Jennifer Gayler and been interpreted by Transform Landscapes. We are really surprised about how much space we have and love the fact it is so low maintenance."

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