The brief was to replace the existing homage to the eighties, curves, shrubs and conifers with an informal country garden based within a formal geometric framework. The client admired French gardens, in particular clipped forms and restricted form trees. Division was to be made between the ‘front door area’ and the main garden without blocking the view of the greater garden. A large formal lawn suitable for badminton was to be included along with a formal path to the rear entrance. Planting was to be soft and natural and encourage birds and insects.

To regain order and create a feeling of calm the design was based upon a rectilinear ground pattern square to the entrance hall. Areas of hard landscape near to the house were zoned by varying the materials used and utilising a weak change of level to create a step down to the family terrace. The entrance paving area was further divided from the garden by a low ‘L’ shaped wall bisecting the planting areas. A large stone edged lawn, second seating area and breedon gravel path were also included.

Planting was informal using mainly herbaceous perennials punctuated by clipped box and yew. Lavender hedges near the house enhanced the French feel. Three round headed Robinia umbraculifera and four Morus alba ‘Platanifolia’ to be trained as flat tops were included.

Either side of the gravel path, a more formal area of Box hedges, Yew pyramids and small formal pond featuring a classical urn was included. Although formal in structure this was softened with abundant perennial planting.

To give textural interest and reduce irrigation the lawn was laid using RTF turf. This coarse bladed turf has a dark green colour and is cut long resulting in almost shag pile rug appearance!