Secret Garden in Oxfordshire

Our clients, a couple whose children have now grown up, had a good-sized garden outside their beautiful barn conversion in Oxfordshire. However, they had never really created a garden as they wanted it. The garden has one large area off the house, plus a small underused and overgrown garden extension which had originally been planned to have a garage. Instead, they had now decided they wanted to create a secret garden in that area to encourage more use of that space. We created an outdoor fireplace and a sitting area behind an existing Hornbeam hedge which we extended to create a separate area. The fireplace and raised bed has a sunken sitting area and gravel sunbathing area, all reached via two small openings in the hedge.

The main garden is mainly laid to lawn, cut in half to make the space look even larger by a low lavender hedge, and at the end is a small bench set in front of layered hedging of Hornbeam and Buxus. The main terrace was relaid in the original footprint with York stone and climbers and herbs were planted in three planting pits. The planting is a mix of shrubs, subshrubs and perennials, with shade-tolerant planting and hedging in the secret garden. Lighting was installed to the paths, under the benches and within the planting beds.