Steyning – creating beauty and enhancing utility in a woodland setting.
Lovely, Lovely, Lovely was invited to improve a mature, large woodland garden behind a beautiful, flint cottage in traditional Sussex style. An existing decked terrace wasn’t well integrated into the garden and the hot tub on it did not sit comfortably. There was no particular route around the garden. The beds were old, and the plants failed to provide year-round interest. Although the house is set back from the road, traffic noise tended to mar the experience of being in the garden. The main view from the sitting room, over a scrubbed out lawn, was of mature beech trees trunks and, behind, the fence to the road. The client’s earlier attempts to beautify this important vista with plants beneath the trees had been thwarted when the beeches prevented the plants from thriving.
Progressively over several years, we worked with our client to transform the garden. It now has a charming, rustic feel. Defined walkways and low bridges afford visitors easy passage around the newly-created naturalistic pond to the decked area, now a green and luxurious oasis. The pond transformed the former bald lawn into a verdant and lush habitat, abundant with wildlife, greenery and flowers.
We later sited a raised pond towards the fence. Designed to emulate a ruined, antique mill pond, it was built from slate and stone salvaged from the garden. We designed this so that the plashing of the water masks the traffic noise, whilst the pond creates a beautiful and enticing focal point, which also screens the beech trunks and the fence. Trickling water at the rear face nurtures tiny plants, chosen to suit the damp and shady situation. At the front, water plunges pleasingly over a slate slab into a larger pond with an island deck.
Like many clients, this one enjoyed our light touch over an extended period in the creation of a delightful garden that is truly the client’s own. From initial consultations that established the overall requirements, the main layout was quickly developed, and then a series of smaller sections of work followed. We provided detail drawings of the pond, which was realised by the client’s husband, who conveniently happened to be a builder! We always works actively to minimise costs to the client, whether by imaginative re-use of materials found already in the garden, by propagating new plants from cuttings from elsewhere in the garden, by collaborating efficiently with the client’s other contractors, or just by “mucking in” deftly.
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