A plantperson's paradise

A country garden inspired by a love of plants

The dream

This project in the Chilterns was interesting not only because of its wonderful location – on a site with excellent views of the surrounding Hertfordshire countryside – but also because one of the clients was a keen plantsperson.  As a recent retiree, he wanted planting ideas for a garden that he and his wife could enjoy and nurture together over time.

The clients’ wish list included deep borders with expansive planting, along with some less common and less hardy plants that could be over-wintered in a new greenhouse. The garden could be viewed from inside the house and these views were an important aspect of the brief.

Our insight

The overall purpose of the design was to create a thriving garden that made the most of the steeply-sloping site.  The scheme needed to flow cohesively from one area to another and frame the impressive views over the Chilterns valley. The new planting plan included specific plants that were chosen to echo the surrounding countryside and its ephemeral nature. Light and airy deciduous shrubs and textural plants were chosen for their skeletal effect.  This added volume and created separate areas that were still closely connected, and diffused by the taller plants rather than separated.

Plants were also selected to soften the slope effect by forming soft curves and mounds, rather than anything too rigid or formal. Clusters of herbaceous plants, shrubs and grasses were created. Deep curving borders enabled intimate spaces to be formed throughout. Carefully selected accent plants provided visual impact and added interest. By using scented plants, another level of sensory enjoyment was created. A mature willow tree, kept from the original garden, was pruned and crown-lifted. This added character to the outdoor space while the new plants ‘settled in’

The transformation

Our clients were delighted. The garden is full of interest, variety and colour in different seasons.  It is a lovely place for them to spend time in all year round; mainly, as keen gardeners, with gardening forks in hand.  There’s always something to do, which was exactly what they wished for. Importantly, planned views from the house also enable them to enjoy the fruits of their labour after a busy day spent outdoors.

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