This family property sits in a small village on the edge of the Chilterns. Our brief was to update the view from the front of the house, enhancing the entrance and parking areas, and replanting deep raised banks along the length of the drive. Removing an overgrown, and very tall, leylandii hedge and dated island bed not only brought in more light, it provided greater scope for creating the welcoming space the client wanted.

The area in front of the house and garage has been paved with York stone and bands of granite setts which, with the addition of a planting bed, create a luxurious feel to the main entrance and allows planting to reach up to the house itself. Large clay pots planted with grasses and bulbs have been positioned by the front door which link to the wider planting scheme and offer sculptural forms. A new rendered retaining wall runs along the length of the gently curving driveway, providing a modern edge to the existing raised banks. These are generously filled with a new planting of semi-mature woodland trees and shrubs, including holly, Amelanchier and birch, which create screening from neighbouring properties and add layers of texture and seasonal interest. A soft, naturalistic planting palette of grasses, ferns and perennials brings movement and lightness to the understory, with bulbs planted in colonies to give highlights of colour throughout the year.

An oak summerhouse in the main garden has been given a sense of place with a sweeping bed that now nestles the building amongst planting. Granite setts and york stone paves the area in front of the shelter, creating a visual link to the front of the house and driveway. Planting a native multi-stemmed, and standard Acer campestre lends height and structure, and connects the garden to the countryside beyond, also providing stunning autumn foliage colour. The planting was designed to bring softness and seclusion to the space, with large yew balls acting as anchors to allow the generous planting to self-seed and billow. A wide variety of bulbs have been planted amongst the grasses and later flowering perennials to ensure colour is present throughout the year.

Photo credit: ©Noel Murphy