Situated on the Thames this property was formerly the gardener’s cottage for a large estate and is surrounded by the original walled kitchen and nursery gardens. 

Although they were keen to redesign all of the potential garden spaces they were concerned that the final ornamental gardens be manageable.  Our practical solution was to propose two types of space: full space, with abundant planting, and empty space, with little or none.

The sunny rear courtyard is full of plants in hot, vibrant colours, which contrast strongly with the neighbouring shady lawn garden, where the colour palette is reduced to green and white, with the majority of plants selected for their foliage or structural qualities.

In the nursery garden the colours of the free, naturalistic planting were taken from the lichens on the walls - silver, lavender, white, rust brown & yellow.  A series of high, dark yew buttresses divide the elongated space and, in time, will create separate areas for eating and relaxing.

The 1-acre walled garden provides the contrast to the heavily planted areas of the property, containing only long grass with mown paths, spring-flowering Judas trees and winter-flowering cherries.  A sculptural landform of a mound and basin plays with the concept idea of full versus empty, while also referring to one of the client’s occupation as a potter.

The wider landscaping of the site addresses the relationship of the property to the river, resolution of the hard landscaping surrounding the property and enlargement and improvement of the existing native woodland and riverside habitats.

Images © Nicola Browne

Oxfordshire
2003 - 2006
Client: Private
2 acres

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