A beautiful country house is as much about its surroundings as the building itself and designing a large garden, or the grounds of a country estate, offers a wonderful opportunity to combine a whole range of different features allowing you to experiment with textures and structures and add plenty of interest and intrigue throughout the landscape.
The luxury of a large garden means that there are a whole range of different elements and garden ‘rooms’ you can consider, from flower-filled rose gardens and potagers, over-flowing with colours and shapes, to exquisitely groomed croquet lawns and formal parterres. The key is not to begin with any pre-conceived ideas but instead to spend time understanding the site and its wider landscape.
We begin every project by exploring the garden, the history and the architecture of the house, as well as the landscape surrounding the property and the views in and out of the site, so that the finished design provides harmony between all these elements. A full site analysis also allows us to observe the way the light falls on different areas of the garden throughout the year, research the soil to work out what type of plants are best suited to it and get to know existing features, trees and plants. It takes time, but preliminary work of this sort ensures we come up with the best design and avoid costly mistakes at a later stage.
Understanding the lives of the people who live there is similarly important, exploring how the garden will be used, how much maintenance they are willing to do and their differing tastes, to ensure we create a garden that works for them, both aesthetically and practically.
With a large garden to consider, planning of this sort is vital, not least to ensure the garden is designed as a balanced composition. It’s important that each part of it flows harmoniously into the next, encouraging you to progress from area to area, with carefully placed focal points to draw the eye through. A well-planned garden also ensures seasonal interest throughout the year. Even in winter the best gardens are enchanting with plenty of colour, textures and shapes.
With so many aspects to consider, honing in on exactly what you want can be challenging but a detailed brief is essential, especially for a large garden. The resulting masterplan will form a blueprint for the build, setting out what you are going to do with each part of the garden from the start. Whether you want a traditional or contemporary landscape, this is ultimately what enables us to create the perfect garden for you and the location.
Throughout 2021 we will be exploring some of the classic elements of a large garden design explaining how each one can fit into an overall masterplan, how we create them and the benefits and beauty each one can bring to a design.
Look out for our journal posts on:
Driveways & Entrances
Views & Borrowed Landscapes