Jonathan Kemmis Betty
My design ethos is rooted in a simple desire to create stunning gardens with an eye on sustainability, making use of local materials wherever possible and striving to enhance diversity of flora and fauna. Grown from, and looking to go beyond, the initial client brief I devise spaces that draw you out and invite you to explore.
I was brought up in the West Country, eventually moving to London in my mid-twenties. I have worked in a number of industries, including finance, project management and photography. This variety allows me to bring a unique perspective and skillset to the design process.
A private residence that looked to transform c. 15 acres of open, unused field into a sanctuary for wildlife and a retreat for its owners. With a nod to the river Stour running along its western flank, which itself bubbles up at the Stourhead estate, the garden emerges from a central spring before dissipating in ripples across the site, becoming less formal as it passes through orchard, into wildflower meadow and woods beyond. Whilst having private, secluded areas, the design also takes advantage of the wonderful views beyond the boundary edge.
Inspired by the art of Ellsworth Kelly, the private garden of this mid-century modern house is based entirely on a grid of 1m squares. The rear garden is split into three tiers with a bocce court and entertaining area on the lower level and seating areas dotted elsewhere around the space, allowing for moments of quiet. The garden is tied together by a set of water troughs with a wide rill running between them across the middle tier.
Due to the house’s clerical links, inspiration came largely from nearby Byland Abbey, once an important monastery and an influence on the design of many church buildings around the North. The shapes of much of the garden mimic those found in the facade of the abbey, particularly its vast, semi-ruined rose window and trefoil arches. The garden is also split into three distinct spaces that allow for entertaining, a more formal cloistered area and a naturalistic space in which to find refuge from the rest of the house.