Dream Garden Magazine Where Nature Meets Nurture Article July 2021


This article was published in the Dream Garden Magazine July 2021 edition. 

Here Karen talks about a collaboration between home owners, ESSE Landscapes and Karen McClure Garden Design

The article that was written is as below:  

It was a case of move or improve after the owners had fallen out of love with their garden, until a collaboration between them, Karen McClure and ESSE Landscapes helped them achieve a stunning result.

The owners were considering moving home due to the lack of usable outdoor space, lack of light and poor functionality of their garden. Before taking that step, they decided to consult a landscaper and garden designer to explore the garden’s potential. A collaborative relationship between all parties allowed them to inject style direction and invest in their garden to enhance the home and improve their lifestyle, rather than face the upheaval and costs of moving house. The existing backdrop of trees, including rhododendron and laurel had encroached upon the garden and taken over, making it feel oppressive and overpowering. The clients wanted to remove all the existing vegetation, however it was decided that if we could manicure what was there, this would respect the wildlife and preserve any natural habitats that already existed. The woodland area was pruned, raising the trees’ crowns to expose the lovely stem work. This made the space feel more controlled for long term maintenance, yet retained a woodland feel and did not interrupt the wildlife too much. The brief requested that the garden had an ‘open feel’, and was inviting, clean and contemporary in order that the clients could use it all year round. 

‘The initial stage of the design process involved Karen and her team helping us to clarify our ideas and the overall look and style we wanted to achieve’

A covered Renson structure and outdoor kitchen was designed into the scheme to provide a designated area to relax, enjoy and entertain guests which in turn has increased the amount of time that the outside space can be enjoyed, with the addition of heating and lighting. The borders were kept contained to a manageable size. The client’s favourite colours were used in the planting palette of soft purple, pink, white and green. The lawn was raised, blending the slight incline across the site, and finished with a custom-made stainless steel edge. Statement trees were included in the soft landscaping; multi-stem varieties added a contemporary and architectural feel, linking to the woodland backdrop and adding height and interest, positioned on a site line from indoors so that they could be appreciated from inside the property as well as when in the garden. Multi stem trees were selected to keep the eventual height and associated maintenance manageable. Crowns are kept high and manicured to reduce leaf fall, their height and structural shapes creating zones within the garden and complementing the surrounding borrowed woodland landscape. The entire garden is subtly lit at night with uplighters to the feature trees and miniature spike rods in the beds, once again extending the enjoyment of the whole garden from day into the evening.

The clients were ecstatic to see the completion of their project and to see the value that their investment into the design and build had brought them. They commented: “Karen was recommended to us by our landscaper and carried out the design and planting for our garden. The initial stage of the design process involved Karen and her team helping us to clarify our ideas and the overall look and style we wanted to achieve. The execution of this important phase was made both engaging and exciting by Karen and her team. The various partners involved worked incredibly well together in implementing the design. Our new garden is simply stunning and is an amazing transformation, exceeding our expectations.”

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