Cookham Garden

Garden Design

A large garden on the edge of the Chilterns in Berkshire, where the clients were looking for a designer who could help them create a new garden from scratch after having a new house built on the site of their old house and garden (of which very little remained).

With the size of the project, the work was broken down into phases, with the rear garden and lawns being completed first followed by the creation of a mediterranean gravel garden at the front.

The rear garden had a new cedar greenhouse installed, creating a focal point from the main seating area, with the main axial path being used to place four oak raised vegetable beds as the clients were keen to grow their own crops.  These beds and greenhouse were surrounded by buff self-binding gravel which complimented the main paving.

Screening between the garden and the neighbouring properties was created using pleached evergreen trees attached to a bespoke metal and wire supporting framework.  This was extended along the main seating area with Trachelopspermum climbers (a wonderfully scented, evergreen and well behaved plant) and tall golden stemmed bamboos.  This was all underplanted with a mixture of shade tolerant perennials such as ferns and Japanese anemones, along with some lovely structural grasses and specimen Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ with it’s football sized creamy-white flower heads.

The planting was continued around the vegetable area, with additional structure and division from the main garden with a bespoke pergola and arch, trained step-over apple trees and long planting beds filled with grasses, lavender, catmint and a selection of other complimentary flowering perennials adding movement, colour and all year round interest.

This mix of planting was continued and replicated in the borders wrapping around the house giving a cohesive and mediterranean influenced scheme complimented by the inclusion of a gnarled specimen olive tree and European palms.

The front of the property had an expansive area alongside the main drive, from which was created an informal gravel garden with large boulders and rocks giving an even more southern European feel.  We used a mixture of buff coloured gravels of differing sizes to ensure a natural feel, which was continued in the arrangement of the rocks to give the illusion of geological strata.

The planting for these beds was designed to follow-on from the main planting around the house, with many of the same plants used again in more informal loose groupings, but with the inclusion of more mediterranean climate plants from Southern Europe and similar climate zones from around the world – such as Agapanthus, Kniphofia (red-hot poker), Helichrysum (curry plant), Santolina (cotton lavender) and many others.  Alongside these we also planted a range of specimen trees and shrubs, including several palms, pencil cypress, dwarf pines and a large specimen Paulownia (foxglove tree).

The project is ongoing, updates will be provided via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.