Renovation and development of gardens surrounding an historic house on the edge of the town, an ongoing project with distinct areas each with their own challenges: kitchen garden, woodland walk, family garden, tropical garden and back garden, driveway and formal front garden.

A lovely house, the original section being Queen Anne with Victorian and Edwardian additions, the garden had also grown ‘organically’ over the years having had its last major overhaul in the 1970s with piecemeal attention since. The new owners have lovingly brought the house up to date, losing none of the original character so were looking for a similar treatment for the gardens and had ideas of their own which they were keen to incorporate.


Planning commenced in 2009 but as the property stands within a conservation area there were hoops to be jumped through. So after comprehensive plans had been drawn up for each section, work started in 2011 with the removal of a number of large trees mainly on the perimeter, which were overshadowing much of the garden itself and a few willows closer to the house which either threatened the structure or stood in the way of planned building work.

While work progressed on the house renovations, the garden work was concentrated on revitalising the planting within the existing box edged beds in the ‘kitchen garden’, creating a fruit cage, raised beds and compost heaps before the crowning glory which is the bespoke greenhouse arrived in the winter of 2012-13, and it all started to come together. It was then the turn of the family garden and pool area for a makeover, reshaping beds, erecting a new pool enclosure and replanting borders to evoke a tropical feel, which in the coldest longest winter in living memory took some imagining! Unable to practically complete the major work required on completely remodelling the back garden until the builders had finished their work on the barn, and not helped by the weather, the looming deadline of a family party in the spring of 2013 helped to focus the contractors attentions and the pressure was on. Builders, plasterers, electricians, painters, scaffolders landscapers and gardeners, somehow managed not to trip over each other and retain their sense of humour in the push to get things done.

The sun finally came out to order and although it looked more like late March than early May, there was indeed a garden to be enjoyed on what turned out to be the first day of summer!