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Transformational landscape

The most important relationship of a house is with its garden and the second most important is the quality of its approach.  When we worked on the private garden to a historic house in Somerset the approach was via a beautiful Lime avenue but the arrival was dominated by parked cars that ruined the experience of the house and separated it from the wider garden beyond.

Our transformational design has completely changed this and brought the family outside to delight in their new living space.  By clearing the parking to a less pivotal location and creating a series of planted spaces outside the front door an immediate flowery and seasonal changing garden has been brought to life.

Our client loves the new scheme here are some of her comments:

“It’s changed my attitude to the outside and has broadened our environment. We would never have taken the time to look at the garden before, now it’s part of our lives.

We love the fact that it’s crazy wild in some places and yet structured in others.

The outside is as important now as the inside.  The design has transformed our space and our enjoyment of the garden.”

Our scheme started with a detailed analysis of the use of the external areas and how family members accessed the garden, what they did there and how they would like to use the space. The design which grew from our discussions created a strong new structure for the critical zone close to the building entrances.  This we packed with diversity and detail to create a lot of new interest immediately by the building to be seen from the inside against a long lawned backdrop. 

We took the decision to remove a large fountain that formed a focal point, but also dominated the whole space and acted as a kind of roundabout to the car parking.

After that to free up the area in front of the house we moved the drive and redirected the approach to the house which also allowed us to move the parking.  This created space for a new terrace that all the south-facing doors and windows of the house opened onto.  The areas abutting the central area of the terrace, the setting of the core of the house, were planted with herbaceous perennials in strong colours whose exuberance is contained within low clipped hedges.  This broad planted zone contains species which stretch the flowering season from spring to autumn.

Outside the main axis, in a contemporary twist, a link across a long, formal pool provides a transition to a sunken seating area, which is sheltered by new planting and flanked by bespoke Corten structures that form a log store for a fire pit.  This area relates well to the adjacent swimming pool and has a more private character than the open terrace. 

The new curving approach to the house allows a view of it before being diverted to the side (restoring some C18th principles) with the parking tucked out of the view of the main façade and screened altogether by a beech hedge.   A new tennis court is sited discretely beyond the main lawn and relates to a retained Victorian copse, orchard trees and from there to the wider views of the cricket pitch.

Coming home has never been so good. 

Jane Fowles

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Jane Fowles

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