Traditional garden and parterre
By London garden designer Charlotte Rowe. This large garden needed a complete overhaul. A French style 'parterre' was designed for the front garden. (A parterre is a formal garden construction on a level surface consisting of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging, and gravel paths arranged to form a pleasing, usually symmetrical pattern.)
The new electric gates in the front needed to be disguised and some kind of screening had to be used to give additional privacy - this was achieved by using a row of Prunus lusitanica with shrubs and perennials in a raised bed in front.
As the garage was to remain, some access to this and some additional parking needed to be accommodated too. he solution was to use three quarters of the garden as parterre, beds, water feature and path to the front door with the whole area paved in reclaimed York stone run through with red bricks to match the house. The water feature was made of rendered concrete with some decorative stone work to match the house.
The parterre consisted of traditional Buxus hedging and half standard 'lollypop' trees in the middle of each of the beds which were filled with lavender, perennial geranium, Artemisia and Alchemilla mollis.
To provide some screening from the houses beyond, a row of ornamental pear trees (Pyrus calleyrana 'Chanticleer') were planted with a row of hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) hedging in front. Behind the planting a tall new hand made trellis was designed to provide additional screening and for support for climbers. This was painted the same pale silvery sage green as the garden house.
As the clients were to build a garden house and a hammam into the garden, the new garden had to fit around this, while at the same time leaving enough room for a large lawn for the couple's children. Therefore, three separate terraces were created all linked by soft planting; the main one was off the large conservatory kitchen extension, the second smaller one was built off the formal drawing room - these were linked by a brick path softened by lovely planting including Nepeta. The third smaller terrace lay outside the garden house with two small rose pillars to give it additional privacy. This terrace was created to catch the last of the evening sun.
The planting was rich and fairly traditional with mainly perennials in deep violets, purples and pink such as Paeonia, Penstemon, Astrantia, Nepeta, Salvia nemerosa and Alcea rosea intermingled with small shrubs such as Philadelphus, Ceanothus, rosemary and lavender, with some softer touches introduced by using finer grasses and perennials including Miscanthus and Foeniculum vulargis purpureum and a number of pink and white English roses including Rosa Gertrude Jekyll. Iris and Allium complete the picture in May and June to create a riot of purples, pinks and whites.
Most of the planting beds at the end of the garden are North facing and are therefore in the shade for much of day. The beds were planted in a rhythmic pattern of shade tolerant planting with Skimmia x confusa 'Kew Green'; Hydrangea arborescens Annabel, Sarcacocca confusa and Digitalis.
Click on any of the plant names below to learn more about the plant and to add it to your own 'Plants list'
Shrubs & Subshrubs
Pittosporum tobira 'Nanum'
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Mme Emile Moulliere'
Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead Wood'
Daphne laureola subpss Philippi
Artemesia 'Powis Castle'
Camellia x williamsii 'Donation'
Shrubs and Subshrubs
Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile'
Lavandula angustifolia 'Royal Purple'
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark'
Skimmia x confusa 'Kew Green'
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Perennials, grasses & ferns
Liriope muscari 'Big Blue' and 'Royal Purple'
Euphorbia amygdaloides var robbiae
Paeonia 'Sarah Bernhardt'
Penstemon 'White Bedder'
Stachys byzantina 'Big Ears'
Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low'
Agapanthus africanus Albus
Alcea rosea rose pink variety
Salvia nem 'Caradonna'
Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'
Ajuga reptans 'Caitlins Giant'
Geraneum phaeum 'Album'
Digitalis purpurea f albiflora
Perovskia 'Blue Spires'
Foeniculum vulgaris purpureum
Clematis 'Polish Spirit'
Lonicera periclymenum 'Serotina'
Jasmininum offinicale 'Clotted Cream'
Solanum jasminoides Album
Clematis montana f. grandiflora
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur'
Photos copyright of Marianne Majerus and CRGD