Garden with a view

Linking an architect-designed new build to its exceptional setting

The dream

Our clients had commissioned an architect to create a beautiful family home for them in Berkhamsted. Located on a historical route to the town’s renowned castle, the house is stylishly modern with large windows overlooking the garden, the Chiltern chalk downs and in the distance Ashridge National Trust Estate. The dream was for a garden that complemented the house, where our clients could relax, enjoy the views and play with their small children without feeling overlooked by neighbouring properties.

Our insight

It was vital that views of the surrounding Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty were framed from the area nearest to the house; while destination spaces for sanctuary or play surrounded by vibrant naturalistic planting were needed to tempt the family further into the space. We also felt that the garden design needed to be contemporary, without being overly austere or minimalist.

The views of the garden from the house through large picture windows now provide a meaningful connection between the two spaces. The more structured garden space near the house contrasts with a wildflower meadow with mown paths situated further out; the meadow also harmonises with the Chiltern countryside beyond.

Continuous hornbeam was used to replace poor mixed (mainly leylandii) hedge along a boundary line and a rear boundary fence was replaced with a fence of cleft chestnut, all adding an organic, natural foil to the garden’s decorative plants.

Late flowering perennials light up the autumn months, look attractive in the cold frosty wintertime and attract birds and other wildlife to the garden. Overall, an organic and warm feel to the scheme has succeeded in inviting the family to use the garden daily and truly benefit from its stunning location.

Our garden and surrounding nature has made me fundamentally happy for many years now and the lovely planting has been a big part of that!

Mrs R, Berkhamsted
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