Jemima was asked to produce a landscape design for a Victorian brick and flint farmhouse that the owners had bought when they returned home from living overseas. Planning permission was being sought for a substantial extension and due to the house being located within the South Downs National Park, there was a higher level of scrutiny than normal in the application. Jemima worked closely with the clients and their architect to meet the brief, but also helped progress the project through the planning process. An Arboricultural Report and Tree Survey were required by the Planning Authority, undertaken by a specialist sourced by Jemima.
On first viewing, the garden had little to offer but a sloping lawn, an unattractive old milking shed, a narrow gravel path with block work retaining wall around the house and a gravel driveway quite a distance from the front door. The brief was to create larger paved terraces for entertaining, a repositioned driveway and forecourt at the front of the property, a level croquet lawn, methods for disguising the road noise, an orchard, vegetable garden and area for chickens, solutions for screening the milking shed and borders filled with planting to give year round colour and interest.
It was decided early on in the design process that a courtyard garden with high brick walls on the road side of the house would help reduce the sound of the traffic and a raised pool with three lead water spouts would further detract from any residual noise. The completed courtyard is paved with Indian Sandstone, brick pavers in a herringbone pattern to form a seating area and a herringbone brick path to lead the eye from the old reclaimed timber gate to the raised pool. A box parterre, box edged beds planted with scented roses and raised vegetable beds fill the rest of the space, and climbing roses, honeysuckle, Wisteria and Clematis soften the walls, providing colour and scent throughout the summer months.
A new gravel driveway and forecourt have been created at the front of the house, with flower beds containing sun loving shrubs, perennials and climbing roses positioned at the base of the house and courtyard walls. A beech hedge now divides the parking area from a level croquet lawn with grass banks up to the existing stables. Through a rose clad arch, a sloping brick edged, self-binding gravel path leads up to the middle terrace, the stableyard and the orchard beyond, for easy wheelbarrow access.
To the east of the house, a wide Indian Sandstone terrace leads seamlessly out from the kitchen, accessed through large bi-fold glass doors. A zinc cistern with fountain is positioned at one end of the terrace near to the house to provide the soothing effect of running water.
The main section of the garden is on the level above, retained by low brick walls. Sloping flower beds surround a square lawn, with brick edged, self-binding gravel paths dissecting it into quarters. At the centre, an overflowing terracotta pot forms a third water feature, surrounded by lavender edged circular beds. A timber bench provides a focal point from the steps that lead up from the lower terrace. As well as the exuberant planting within the sloped borders that surround the middle terrace, the milking shed is also cleverly disguised by the many cut logs that are stacked all the way up the front elevation that overlooks the garden.
An orchard has been planted within the meadow that surrounds the garden and wildflowers are encouraged to proliferate, providing nectar for pollinators.