Our clients have lived in their house in the delightful village of Ewelme for nearly 20 years. Their back garden overlooks the watercress beds while the front is on the main road through the village. Both enjoy spending time in their garden, but felt the front, in particular, was ready for a refresh and a new look. They needed to strike a balance between having enough parking for their two cars while creating a space where they could share a drink with friends and family or just sit and watch the world go by. As keen gardeners, they also wanted a variety of plants that would create interest and impact all year round.
Our brief was to create the ‘Wow’ factor with a contemporary twist while using natural materials and bold planting. Taking inspiration from the design that won us the Gold medal at Blenheim Palace Flower Show last year, we set out to create a feeling of space and openness, We balanced this with a sense of seclusion and warmth enhanced by natural materials and soft planting.
The central feature of the garden is a curved stainless steel water feature set midway within two curved dry-stone effect slate walls to create a gentle ‘S” shape. The walls are topped with two large pieces of Cedar of Lebanon, taken from the same original plank, to create a smooth seating surface that is both welcoming and practical.
In front of the wall, facing the front door is an elliptical patio paved in smooth sawn slate that creates the perfect platform to admire the garden from or just to stand and chat. Welsh slate was also used to edge the patio and cream limestone gravel driveway, which curves around the front of the house.
Behind the highly reflective steel water feature, facing the main road, is a bog garden brimming with marginal plants, reeds and grasses. The tall planting is designed to provide some partial screening of the seats, while the reflection in the steel creates an eye-catching display to intrigue passers-by.
A semi-mature weeping birch, planted in a small area of lawn, creates instant impact and a focal point to give height, movement, sound and interest while an evergreen hedge of Osmanthus creates privacy between the neighbouring driveway.
Finally, we hand cut and shaped oak posts and and strung steel wires diagonally between the horizontal rails to create a contemporary take on a traditional laid hazel hedge. We trained trachelospermum jasminoides and climbing roses on the wires and under-planted with violets and vinca to provide colour, scent and all-year cover.
We were delighted with and very proud of the end result, as was our client;
“We were super impressed with GreenArt – the job was outstanding and all done on time with minimum disruption. Attention to detail and skills used were outstanding, not only planting but carpentry and stone masonry. Can’t wait to see the garden mature.”