This was very much a family orientated garden when I first viewed it, with a stone paved terrace for outside entertaining and a large expanse of lawn for the children's games. What was lacking was the ornamental element - something beautiful to look out onto from the house and also to admire nearer to. With the children growing up and needing less space for running around, my clients decided it was time to sacrifice part of the lawn to make way for something a little more exciting.
So my brief was to create a flowering oasis, which would become the focal point of the garden when viewed from the kitchen and the main reception rooms of the house. Part of the lawn was to remain, and because of the formality of the roughly rectangular area and high boundary hedges, I decided to create a flower garden with four main beds and two secondary beds, divided by grass paths. A large circular area at the centre with a stone birdbath in the middle, surrounded by a mass of white ground covering roses, has become the focal point to the design. A series of metal arches over the main axis give height and draw the eye to the gate at the far end of the path, and these are planted with a variety of rambling roses, clematis and honeysuckle to give colour and scent throughout the season. Ornamental crab apples at the centre of each bed also give height, plus pretty spring flower and autumn fruit. The beds are planted with a mixture of evergreen and deciduous shrubs to give structure throughout the year, roses and perennials for exuberant summer colour and scent, and a splattering of bulbs for early interest. Tall ornamental grasses have added further structure to the scheme, and the smaller, more ethereal grasses give a lovely softness. This is now a garden to truly satisfy every member of the family.