This large garden in the idyllic village of Mickley is striking for the beauty of its surroundings. With views over arable fields and a hillside crossed with woodland and a distant barn, the secret to this design was always going to how to find a way to ‘borrow’ the landscape and bring it into the garden.
The house is newly built and the garden is a blank canvas, with the benefit of a large wall usually found in stately home kitchen gardens and a southerly aspect. Design challenges lie in its sloping nature (rising upwards nearly two metres over fifty metres and with a cross-fall), underground services to be avoided and the off-set position of the house to the rear garden.
A design brief included water, a new area beyond the greenhouse, planting areas and an extended terrace and vegetable garden. The planting was to be naturalistic and beneficial to wildlife.
Inspired by the site, the idea of creating a ‘meadow garden’ evolved. We looked at forms and features in meadows and how to bring them into this design in a formal way. As part of this thinking, we were mindful of using the soil that would be dug up to create a water feature and create level areas on the site. A land form was the clear solution. This is a large circular feature, which acts as a journey point from the house up through the garden and contains a feature sundial, surrounded by planting.
From this central point, one can either follow a mown path through meadow planting, and alongside a shrub and tree area, up to a gazebo, or head back to the house. Here we sited a large rill with beds alongside. The rill will be filled with waterlilies and stepped for wildlife. Stepping stones cross the water, creating a path from the vegetable garden to the new seating area beyond the greenhouse. Water overflowing from the rill, and from land drains in the garden will all be diverted to a soakaway beneath the landform. A large formal border will be created alongside the estate beautiful boundary wall. The garden will be subtly lit at night.