We have recently completed work in a beautiful walled garden just outside Harpenden, North Hertfordshire.
One of the flint and brick walls is thought to be built on the foundations of the original C17 century manor house and contains a stone mullion window from the early building. There are also some beautiful pieces of rare Hertfordshire Puddingstone embedded in the wall and placed in a mid-century concrete and stone water feature that we have also re-planted and brought back to life.
These unique details are what informs us, as designers, to make gardens that have a true sense of place, using materials that blend with the surroundings and allow the planting to bring movement and interest.
Our brief was to create a space full of life and colour, where our client could cut flowers for the house and enjoy the garden in all seasons. Six standard Malus ‘Evereste’ staggered over two rows offer a shaded and elegant entrance to the garden, providing seasonal interest with spring blossom and stunning autumn foliage and fruit. Simple squared beds and a long reflecting pool add formality to the central section of the space, whilst randomly positioned Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’ provide drama and anchor the surrounding softer planting which, over time, will knit together and form swathes of vibrant colour and texture.
We designed curvaceous, organic-shaped beds for the top third of the garden, which are arranged around a simple sawn Yorkstone terraced are for entertaining. These beds are planted loosely with unusual perennials, grasses and herbs and are mulched with the same flint gravel that lines the paths in the more formal area. Three Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ add height, their beautiful dark foliage providing a fantastic foil for the lighter, airier plants. Plants will be allowed to self seed and it will be interesting to see where they appear.
Each bed is edged with steel that defines the planting, but allows growth to tumble and spill over onto the paths. We designed the planting to be low maintenance and, once established will be irrigation free.