This third of an acre former small holding consisted of mature fruit trees and large areas of rough grass. The garden had suffered many years of neglect and was very overgrown with brambles and nettles.
The brief was to open up views through the garden and make it a more practical space for entertaining and relaxing, whilst retaining some of the trees and keeping the garden’s naturalistic feel. A vegetable garden and wildlife pond were also a priority.
The new layout uses organic curves which work around the garden’s remaining mature fruit trees. The views have been opened up by raising the crown on the two central trees whose branches previously came right down to the ground; these trees now lend great structure to the garden.
A large deck overhangs the new wildlife pond and is a great place to relax and observe the pond’s wildlife on a summer’s day. A beautiful sculptural log wall has been built behind the deck to screen the chicken run on the other side and offer shelter to insects and small creatures.
A new vegetable garden, enclosed by a plant-covered trellis has been formed around the existing greenhouse and offers a sheltered, practical space to potter. Gravel paths divide the space between four large beds whilst the area behind the greenhouse is utilised for storage and compost bins.
A large lawn and patio both offer ample space for play and for entertaining large groups of friends. Curving gravel paths edge the lawn and lead you through the garden from the patio to the raised Wendy house and pond. Chickens are allowed to roam free at the far end of the garden where they are able to scratch and forage around beneath the cherry, damson and apple trees; this screened off area is also home to the children’s trampoline.
The garden has been planted in a naturalistic style using a sumptuous palette of herbaceous plants and grasses. The garden is given structure by the mature trees, and clipped shrubs such as Box, Thyme and Pittosporum, and is enclosed by a mixed native hedge. Consideration for the needs and preferences of insects, birds and small animals has dictated the choice of plants, this has been rewarded by the diversity of wildlife that has visited the garden or has made it their home. In 2010 and 2011 the garden was awarded the title of Sutton in Bloom’s ‘Best Wildlife Garden’