A CGI animation of the design can be viewed here – https://vimeo.com/282879797
For a garden designer, there are few things as exciting as being presented with an outdoor space which is confused, complicated and challenging. Situated in the countryside near Harrogate, this property (with a large barn in the centre of the outside space) benefits from beautiful views over Nidderdale and plenty of space. However it is exposed to the wind, contains an eclectic range of unsympathetic landscaping materials, is divided in two by the central barn, and there is almost nowhere comfortable for the family that recently bought the property to enjoy the garden.
But the bones of the garden are good, and the layout immediately reminds one of a French country garden – with courtyard between house an nearby barn, then space beyond with the potential for a formal lawn and vegetable garden.
The brief was to create a family garden with formal entrance, lawn and to find a way to link the disjointed spaces in the garden. The family had been considering knocking down part of the barn to bring light into the courtyard. A simpler, and less costly solution was needed!
A key in good design is to not try to turn areas into spaces they aren’t. In other words, if you have a shady courtyard, don’t attempt to turn it into a lawn. The same rule applies to paint in the house. Go with a deep, rich colour in a dark room, and a lighter colour in a bright room. In this project, we immediately considered the existing areas of the garden and zoned them as orchard, lawn, vegetable garden, courtyard and so on – then looked at how to create flow and movement around the property. Influence came from French country gardens, Islamic courtyards and the local vernacular (especially in the use of dry stone walling, reclaimed Yorkstone paving and gravel that tones with the walls of the house and barn).
To resolve the slopes in the garden, we introduced steps and level area, and – a feature of the new lawn and vegetable garden area – curving grass covered steps in an amphitheatre form. Dining areas were created near the house (enclosed with pleached trees) and at the end of the lawn and vegetable garden area, under an oak pergola. This is reached either through the barn (with proposed enlarged doors) or a modified path around the barn. The scheme will include lighting, in particular in the courtyard area, making a beautiful entrance into the property at night for the family.
Build likely in two stages, commencing autumn 2019.