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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.)

Parterre charlotte rowe

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.

Traditional garden and parterre

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.

Traditional garden and parterre

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.

Traditional garden and parterre

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.

Traditional garden and parterre

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.

Parterre charlotte rowe

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.

Plants list

Click on any of the plant names below to learn more about the plant and to add it to your own 'Plants list'

Front garden

Shrubs & Subshrubs
Pittosporum tobira 'Nanum'
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Mme Emile Moulliere'
Sarcococa humilis
Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead Wood'
Daphne laureola subpss Philippi
Artemesia 'Powis Castle'
Camellia x williamsii 'Donation'
Prunus lusitanica
Buxus sempervirens
Laurus nobilis
Ligustrum jonandrum
Buxus sempervirens

Perennials, grasses & ferns
Liriope muscari
Pulmonaria Sissinghurst White
Helleborus orientalis
Euphorbia amygdaloides subs. Robbiae
Geraneum sanguineum
Polystichum aculeatum

Climbers
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'

Back garden

Shrubs and Subshrubs
Philadelphus 'Belle Etoile'
Lavandula angustifolia 'Royal Purple'
Rosmarinus officinalis
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Skylark'
Lavandula stoechas
Buxus sempervirens
Skimmia x confusa 'Kew Green'
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Sarcaccocca confusa

Perennials, grasses & ferns
Liriope muscari 'Big Blue' and 'Royal Purple'
Euphorbia amygdaloides var robbiae
Paeonia 'Sarah Bernhardt'
Penstemon 'White Bedder'
Stachys byzantina 'Big Ears'
Geraneum 'Brookside'
Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low'
Agapanthus africanus Albus
Alcea rosea rose pink variety
Salvia nem 'Caradonna'
Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'
Bergenia cordfolia
Ajuga reptans 'Caitlins Giant'
Geraneum phaeum 'Album'
Helleborus orientalis
Digitalis purpurea f albiflora
Vinca major
Perovskia 'Blue Spires'
Astrantia major
Foeniculum vulgaris purpureum

Climbers
Clematis 'Polish Spirit'
Wisteria sinensis
Lonicera periclymenum 'Serotina'
Jasmininum offinicale 'Clotted Cream'
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Hydrangea petiolaris
Solanum jasminoides Album
Clematis montana f. grandiflora
Clematis armandii
Clematis 'Perle d'Azur'

Roses
Rosa Adelaide d'Orleans (climber)
Rosa New Dawn (climber)
Rosa Gertrude Jekyll
Rosa 'Glamis Castle'
Rosa The Generous Gardener

Bulbs
Iris pallida in pots
Iris Jane Phillips in pots
Iris Dusky Challenger in pots

Photos copyright of Marianne Majerus and CRGD

Charlotte Rowe

Other gardens by this designer