Having completed the Garden Design Diploma in 2017 I graduated with a Distinction and have been shortlisted for the Society of Garden Designers Student Awards 2017 for my final college project, a large family garden in the Surrey Hills.
A life-long garden obsessive, I decided last year to leave a 20 year career as a senior communications consultant, to fulfil my dream of working with plants and people to create beautiful outdoor spaces for generations to enjoy.
Having spent the previous decade working with health-related charities, I am a very strong believer in the health benefits of gardens, and gardening, which I firmly believe can bring joy, excitement, exhilaration, surprise as well as huge solace and a sense of calm in today’s increasingly frantic world.
Gardens and gardening have bought me so much joy, a joy I want all those I work with now and in the future to experience and share.
The brief, to create a family garden with a real wow factor for entertaining, relaxing and sunbathing. The house, circa late 1950s, and garden were being totally refurbished. The garden is south facing, on a slope, which rises away from the house to the woods beyond.
Overall design proposal is to create a sophisticated family garden, full of perennial planting, grounded in a confident structure of winter evergreens and trees with a strong central path allowing one to travel through the garden to the woods beyond.
The garden has been terraced ensuring easy progression up the slope to the raised woodland beyond. Each of the three terraces has distinct seating/leisure areas allowing differing social spaces for all the family, plus taking full advantage of the best of the sun throughout the day.
The client had recently acquired a 1 acre plot adjacent to their current home and wished to join their two gardens and create in their new outdoor space a relaxed, fun, social outdoor space for adults and children alike, with a social hub around a newly built swimming pool with open areas of lawn for their children to play.
The client, a professional couple with 2 children, aged 10 and 14, had recently moved out of London to this, their forever home. They wanted a welcoming, warm and inclusive family garden where children and adults can play, explore, socialise and relax both separately and together. At its heart must be a central social space for entertaining, relaxing, having fun and being at one with each other. A swimming pool was a must. The garden needs to grow with the family so all areas can be used by all ages. The style for this sizeable 13 acre garden should be contemporary but with a distinct nod to the Arts and Crafts movement and heritage of the house, which was built in 1905 and the surrounding area, which boasts many glorious examples from this period.
Having completed a total renovation of their beautiful Surrey Hills family home the client wanted the garden, which they had very much inherited and was somewhat tired, bought back to life. The brief was to bring the inside out and encourage the whole family, children, teenagers and adults alike to make full use of the garden throughout the seasons.
Space for dining, relaxing, entertaining and large areas dedicated to children’s play were all central to the design. The project involved total replacement and redesign of patio areas, new walls, pathways and a green oak framed pergola were constructed. A thorough review of all planting was undertaken which resulted in the removal of ageing trees and a thorough overhaul of the existing planting.
The client then also asked for their front garden and driveway to be redesigned which has now been completed. Planting for the project will take place in October 2018. The client is thrilled with their beautiful new garden and I’m delighted to report it is now used and enjoyed by the whole family
I was lucky enough to be asked to renovate the garden of a glorious house occupying a stunning location on the banks of the River Thames in Old Windsor. The client had spent a considerable period of time renovating their home and now needed the garden bought up to the same standard.
Several ageing trees were removed, new planting beds created surrounding the house and old overgrown borders cleared and totally replanted with the emphasis on colour and a cottage garden feel. A gravel garden adjacent to a decked dining area next to the river was cleared and replanted with a more Mediterranean feel.
New Yew hedging was also planted to provide screening of parking areas and to increase privacy for the home owners from an adjacent lane.
The garden was planted in March so is still in its first season with further plans in the pipeline as the garden continues to evolve.
The client had asked me to breathe new life into a tired border adjacent to their outside dining area. The border was redesigned and enlarged and now hugs the patio creating a sense of enclosure for the diners, a water bowl was introduced to create a sense of calm and to reflect the new planting introduced and as a magnet for birds.