This is a walled garden on the edge of a village, with fields and a chateau just beyond it. The clients had lived in this property for all of a week by the time they had asked me to produce a garden concept for them. However, they knew they wanted a natural pool and they wanted a naturalistic planting that was not just restricted to tiny borders around the perimeter of the garden and that connects with the landscape beyond. The garden is to cater for all age groups and the clients thought it might be fun to have a space where they can play pétanque with friends. The garden perimeter wall houses an old bread oven. The boundary on the right is overlooked by neighbours’ properties. The garden is much wider than it is long.
The design challenge was to imagine how the space would be used when it has never been used by the family before.
The main view out of the house onto the garden visually connects with the area beside the bread oven. By creating a seating area beneath a pergola and connecting those two spaces by a main path it unifies the garden, brings the spaces together, visually stretches the space and gives an opportunity to bring planting into the middle of the space. It also lends itself to a space in which to play the occasional game of pétanque.
The choices of materials used reflect the local stone, abundant terracotta, oak woodlands, and the slate roofs of the neighbouring chateau. From right to left, the planting begins with a simple and graphic planting of grasses to envelop the pool and give it a calming atmosphere.
Chanticleer pears are strategically placed informally near the boundary to diffuse the neighbours’ view. As the planting moves across to the middle of the garden there are beds that add rich colours, drama and seasonal dynamism to the space. A central allée is flanked by Amelanchiers planted into the gravel surface that lead to a large bespoke oak pergola with a slate coloured belgian brick terrace beneath. For cohesion a second, breakfast, terrace has also been constructed in the same materials. To the left of the central allée a lawn for play, which becomes a meadow space planted with natives and near natives. To the far left additional perennial planting is set beneath a repetition of Chanticleer pears, positioned in a line to draw the eye to the scenery beyond the garden.
Species of trees and shrubs planted naturalistically throughout the garden are selected to sit harmoniously with the woodlands just beyond the garden.
This project is now constructed and planting was undertaken between December 2022 and February 2023. I am showing this garden’s continued growth and maturity through my instagram account.