English country garden

An Edwardian-style outdoor space

The dream

This 2-acre country garden forms the grounds of a large Edwardian house in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, near the parkland belonging to Ashridge Estate. Our clients had owned the property for 2 years when they appointed us. The previous owners had implemented rather unsympathetic materials and plants, which were out of keeping with the house and its beautiful setting. Our initial brief was to redesign the main terrace with more suitable hard and softscaping, giving better synergy between house and garden.

Our insight

Edwardian homes were often built on large, leafy plots of land, giving an opportunity to create beautiful country gardens. In this instance –  and in line with Edwardian design thinking – we were keen to create a sense of sanctuary and retreat near to the house while still reflecting the wider countryside setting. It was important to create a terrace that was interwoven with the house’s Edwardian architecture, continuing and softening its geometric lines. The garden also included some glorious existing trees, possibly dating back to the origins of the property.  We were keen to complement their beauty by using vernacular, natural materials.

The transformation

Following successful completion of the terrace area and surrounding planting, we were commissioned to redesign the main drive, together with a rather unsightly area around the swimming pool. Our solution was to use traditional craftmanship and a bold, exciting planting palette.  We knew that this would work to the scale of the imposing building and garden. A long green oak pergola walkway now links the main terrace to the swimming pool, defining the journey between the two areas and adding visual interest to the space..  Importantly, this walkway also leads the eye around the country garden to the views of Hertfordshire woodland beyond.

Overall, our clients were delighted with the connection created between their home, the garden itself and its wider setting. By transforming their garden with careful thought – and drawing on professional design expertise and landscaping craftmanship – they have created a strong sense of place.

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