Mixing the old with new
This last month has been a busy time for us all as we endeavour to complete design plans and groundworks before the busy planting months of September and October are upon us. This always seems like a ‘bottle-neck’ point in the season as our months of measuring, analysis, concepts and discussions finally evolve in paper form and it’s all hands on deck to then bring those designs to fruition before the winter cold and wet is upon us once again.
We have just completed the design masterplans for two very interesting and exciting gardens. These two projects could not be more different in style, considerations and conditions, both presenting their own unique challenges for our team, manifesting in a certain degree of head scratching at times (!) but then again, how dull would it be if all our projects were the same?!
Although not technically a roof garden, Lucy has had to adopt the same principals of rooftop gardens for her design at a highly contemporary property in Bruton, Somerset. Here the terrace sits significantly above the ground level surrounding the house, meaning that all planting needs to be in containers and whilst benefitting from fabulous panoramic views, all planting has to be able to withstand some fairly bracing weather conditions! With the help and advice of Taylor Made Planters, a series of connecting, bespoke fibreglass planters are currently being constructed, some of which are large enough in dimension to incorporate multi-stemmed and pleached trees into the design. In a shade of graphite grey to match the metalwork of this newly built house, the planters are designed to compliment the cutting edge design of the house and bring both house and garden together as a series of rooms and spaces, connected by glass bi-fold doors spanning the width of the terrace. The next phase is to design the planting plans in time for the arrival of the planters in just a few weeks – we’d better get a wiggle on!
As a complete contrast we have also been working hard on a rejuvenation of a lake and surrounding garden in Yetminster, Dorset. This has been an incredibly interesting project for us with huge scope. This large lake is within the grounds of an old mill house and, whilst still retaining its wonderfully sinuous shape, it was left to become somewhat overgrown by the past owners of the house and therefore no longer the significant feature of this mill house garden it should be. Our brief is to create a lake which can be enjoyed by our clients, adding colour and interest to the area whilst always being mindful of the variety of wildlife the lake provides a habitat for and encouraging even more species diversity with our design. The last few months has involved some sensitive clearing of both the banks and the water itself to remove invasive weeds and pond weeds and measuring up was challenging (to say the least!) as being a considerable distance from the house and with no fixed measurement lines, we had to build a series of offset measurements, tackling different sections at a time. It is always a little tense when we return to the office to put those measurements on to paper, very much hoping that all the sections will fit together and form an accurate plan from which to begin our design. But thankfully, this went relatively smoothly (!) and we are thrilled to be handing over the design master plan this week. As with the Bruton project, it will be on to planting plans next but needless to say, we will certainly be considering some vastly different plants when it comes to the combinations we will be incorporating for these two exciting projects.
We are ready for the challenges ahead!