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Outdoor rooms garden

By Cambridge garden designer Spike Jackson. The propeperty is a Grade 1 listed Manor House on the western edge of London, with the oldest part (a four-bay Yeoman's Hall) dating back to the mid 14th century. Despite its many fascinating qualities, the house was essentially inward looking, and the clients wanted a pair of linked “outdoor rooms” for them to use to lounge in the sun or dine in the shade.

Neo-Renaissance symmetry spike jackson

For design inspiration I turned to the dominant western aesthetic for the period during which much of the constuction of the house took place: the Renaissance. I used themes that can still be seen in some of the great preserved villa gardens of Italy: strong central axies, and a layout based on nested squares and circles.

Neo-Renaissance symmetry spike jackson

Materials are also sympathetic to the context of the building (essential in this case, where Listed building consent had to be obtained before the project could proceed): natural sandstone paving in mixed sizes; handmade red bricks specially made to match the slim tudor bricks of the house; green oak for the pergola.

Neo-Renaissance symmetry spike jackson

Dwarf Box edging and Box Balls symmetrically placed at corners are a nod to Renaissance planting, but otherwise the plant selection has been driven mostly by considerations of longevity of seasonal interest and ease of maintenance. The climbers to be trained over the pergola feature Clematis viticella for flowers and Vitis coignetiae with its huge leaves for dappled shade. We are also trialling two newly introduced fruiting vines that promise both delicious grapes and a disease-free constitution for the British climate: Vitis vinifera 'Phoenix' and Vitis vinifera 'Regent'.

Neo-Renaissance symmetry spike jackson

Other planting includes:

Agapanthus 'Midnight Star'
Allium karataviense
Allium 'Purple Sensation'
Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert'
Artemisia abrotanum
Bergenia 'Baby Doll'
Campanula lactiflora 'Pritchard's Variety'
Caryopteris clandonensis 'Heavenly Blue'
Centranthus ruber
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
Convulvulus cneorum
Crambe maritima
Echinacea purpurea 'White Lustre'
Eremurus himalaicus
Eryngium giganteum
Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald Gaiety'
Euphorbia characias 'White Swan'
Euphorbia myrsinites
Geranium macrorrhizum 'Album'
Gypsophila 'Rosenschleier'
Hebe parviflora angustifolia
Helleborus corsicus
Iris 'Jane Philips'
Juniperus conferta
Knautia macadonica
Kniphofia 'Green Jade'
Lavendula angustifolia 'Rosea'
Miscanthus sinensis 'Rotsilber'
Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant'
Nerine bowdenii
Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Blue Spire'
Persicaria affinis 'Superba'
Phormium 'Platt's Black'
Phuopsis stylosa
Rosa 'Eglantyne'
Rosmarinus officinalis 'Jackmans Prostrate'
Salvia verticillata 'Purple Rain'
Sambucus 'Black Lace'
Sarcococca hookeriana 'Dignya'
Sedum 'Matrona'
Sedum spectabile 'Iceburg'
Sedum telephium 'Ruprechtii'
Weigela florida 'Foliis Purpureis'

Designed by Spike Jackson