Jemima was asked to come up with a design to replace a rather boring grassed area at the front of a pretty village house. The area contained a centrally planted medlar tree and it was enclosed by mature yew hedging on one side, with metal railings and a low brick and flint wall on the other two sides. The regular square shape led to a formal layout of four low box edged beds with self-binding gravel paths between, and a central brick edged circle around the existing medlar. The beds are planted with scented, repeat flowering roses and perennials, such as Salvias, Nepeta and Campanulas. Existing Rugosa roses within a bed along one of the boundaries have been underplanted with Alchemilla, hardy geraniums, Stachys and Heuchera. A white painted bench forms a focal point from the entrance gate.
The walled garden was the main area to be redesigned, although the layout was to remain largely unchanged. An existing pergola defined one section and a paved seating area was to be retained. The borders along the boundary walls were lacking in interest and much of the planting had become overgrown or neglected. The climbing roses were retained to soften the walls, but newly shaped borders and a new planting scheme of shrubs, perennials and bulbs now provides colour and interest from April through to October.
A planting scheme was required for a long, fairly narrow, sloping, south facing border alongside the driveway leading up to the stables. The ground was very stony and free draining, therefore shrubs, climbers and perennials suitable for Mediterranean conditions were chosen, such as Euphorbia, Stipa, Ceanothus, Perovskia, Hibiscus, Echinops, Buddleja, Cistus, Phlomis and Artemisia. Many of the plants are repeated along the border to provide rhythm, and year round interest is ensured by differences in size, form and texture of the plants as well as flower and leaf colour.
Lastly, the courtyard needed screening from the road, so it was decided that a Pleached Hornbeam hedge would add that much needed height to the newly constructed brick wall. Further interest and softening have been added to the courtyard in the form of lavender hedges along either side of the driveway, planted borders at the base of the house wall and a pretty Japanese flowering cherry tree, underplanted with daffodils.