Garden Design, Oxted, Surrey


The delightful family that I am working with on this garden in Surrey were keen to put together an overall plan for the landscaping of their grounds.  The design incorporates a swimming pool, tennis court, entertaining terrace, main lawn, pleached hornbeam garden, sculpture, vistas and an orchard amongst other details.

The design in summary takes shape as follows:

The drive will be enhanced by simple yet elegant double brick pillars, with curved walls supporting automated gates.  These will lend a sense of arrival and grandeur to the front of the property.  Low box hedging will define the drive way further making a crisp sharp entrance and creating new areas to showcase planting schemes.  A clipped hedge of yew will define the boundary parallel to the road.

To mark the entrance further, four ‘specimen trees’ to be  planted near the boundary hedge, adding height and repetition will add a wow factor and a ‘welcome’ in the Spring.

The Pergola Walk – A wooden pergola walkway passes the orchard so as to divide the grounds into a series of rooms and create transitions, that you discover, as you walk from one area to the next. The solid oak frame of the pergola will add solidity and structure this will be softened by wide planted beds on one side that create a beautiful display of herbaceous perennials and roses.  A break in the middle allows a view of either the orchard or to the lawn, depending on which way you are facing.

The Pleached Hornbeam Garden – To soften the fencing that runs from the road, along the back of the orchard and down to the swimming pool a hedge of clipped Taxus baccata (Yew ) creates a verdant backdrop to a ‘lime walk’ (pleached limes, box pleached limes or pleached hornbeam to be used), these will add grandeur, height and detract from the starkness of the fence.  Even in the winter, the tree forms will add an interest to the garden and will be under planted with Herbaceous perennials, lavender and bulbs for further seasonal  interest.  Another garden ‘room’ is created lending to the feeling of a journey through the entire garden, a series of transitions.

The journey through the garden is intensified by the change in areas, the wooden pergola divides the relaxed orchard and mown paths which give way to the more formal lime walk round and then on again to the main lawn before discovering the swimming pool garden which will conjure up another style of dramatic, New Zealand inspired foliage.

The swimming pool area – This will be surrounded by an exciting planting scheme, interesting dramatic foliage will create a sense of foreign climes, it will create a semi cocooned feeling when in this area.  This style of planting in terms of the scale of the plants will work very well with the size of the garden.  It also assists further to divide the garden up to create a sense of “what is beyond” rather than being able to see the whole of the garden in one go, making it a more interesting journey through the grounds.

The Entertaining Terrace – The original terrace has been extended and wraps around the side of the house, this adds more interest to the side and integrates it within the garden, making a better use of a previously unused area of the garden.  The terrace will be able to be accessed from either side of the drive and creates a continuous path the whole way round the garden (useful when weather not so good).  By extending it to the side slightly it allows a slightly bigger area to position chairs and a table so that it can be used without feeling pinched on space.  Existing patio height to be built up to level of the doors from the orangery, thus creating a seamless transition from inside the orangery to outside.  This will create a more commanding vantage point when on it.

Steps lead onto the lawn garden, which is left open and spacious for playing games, sport and socialising and is big enough to house a marquee should the need arise.  Borders frame the space, a large wide border at the bottom allows for interesting planting, softens the harshness of the tennis court fencing and in the bottom left hand corner a wide bed allows for the climbing frame to positioned within it, also the trampoline.  The area where the climbing frame is can evolve to transform to an area for a summerhouse/teenage den once the children reach that stage.

There are a number of vistas in the garden that I have considered, some of which take in a piece of sculpture or a specimen tree or plant.

The works are underway (as you will see from the construction photos below) so do come back to see how the project develops over the coming months………

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