Design projects: A country garden with a natural pond.

A country garden with a natural pond

This design was commissioned by a couple in their thirties with no children or pets. Both were keen gardeners, but felt unable to tackle the re-design of a garden which was neglected and overgrown, on three different levels, and had a lawn area which in places only partially covered the foundations of a demolished building. The garden adjoined a country cottage, and was enclosed by a steep bank and a high wall on two sides, but had only a low picket fence separating it from a pedestrian path running to a car park on the other two sides. The clients requested a design for a sustainable garden with a low carbon footprint which was to include more formal planting around a dining area close to the house, naturalistic planting further into the garden, and a pond to encourage wildlife. The clients had already planted a low holly hedge along the outside edge of the picket fence, and wanted to keep both of these, but they had not tackled a bramble-filled area immediately adjacent to the high boundary wall.

In the new design the high wall is disguised by a full length pergola consisting of a series of metal arches supporting climbers, the brambles have been replaced by a yew hedge now screening an area for relaxation, raised to overlook the pond. The difference in levels in this area of the garden, and the request for formal planting, have been accommodated by designing raised box-edged beds, and a mature bay tree has been retained and clipped into shape. The pond is ringed with planting, and it is possible to walk right around it on mown grass paths, or on boulders acting as stepping stones. The pond is large enough to be converted into a natural swimming pond at a later date.