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Project Under Development – Surrey

Charlotte Rowe was commissioned to re-design a large garden of around four acres situated in the North Downs in very beautiful part of Surrey. Some major works were being undertaken to the house so the plan was to create the new landscape design at the same time.

The garden was large but very tired and in need of attention. To the front of the house, there was large drive with a garage and complex of buildings which dominated the property; there was very little actual garden and one of the main briefs from our clients was to create a more formal and elegant entrance to the house with a formal lawn and flowerbeds and to re-configure the whole area so that the family cars did not dominate the first view of the house.

Most of the garden lies to the rear and side of the house where there was a rear terrace paved in crazy paving leading to a number of disparate garden zones which had little relationship or connection to each other – a small raised grass area, steps up to an old shrubbery with plants which were leggy and woody, a pergola and, crucially, a long  yew-lined double border which literally broke the view down the garden in half and made the whole garden feel claustrophobic. Beyond the yew hedge were more areas of lawn, a pavilion, more shrubs and trees and finally a former tennis court, now used as a play area and football pitch for the couple’s children and beyond that an orchard and swimming pool complex.

Charlotte Rowe Garden Design created a landscape plan which provided a much more attractive front area – with a sunken lawn bounded by layered hedging, box-pleached trees and areas of planting which both look elegant and at the same time help to screen from view the garage and outbuildings and the cars which are now parked in a clearly allocated area.

As the rear terrace was being used mainly as a children’s play area, one of the main design objectives was to create a new children’s play area to the side of the house which would free up the rear terrace which will now be used as the outdoor dining and sitting area. One of the long yew hedges which ran down the middle of the view has been removed and the whole lawn off the house opened up to provide a wonderful view down the garden. A mature Zelkova serrata has been planted in the middle distance to take the eye down the site and a series of ‘tables’ of hornbeam hedging have been planted around the lawn to give a feeling of semi-formality and ‘enclosure’. Two rows of native cherry trees have been planted on either side of the main lawn and four large Japanese Acers have been placed in the landscape, providing all-year-round interest and complementing the existing Acer already in the garden. Mixed perennial, shrub and grass planting beds have been created on the left hand side of the lawn and in the middle lawn as well as on both sides of the house.

Linking the children’s play area to the main area of the garden on the left hand side of the main formal lawn is a living willow tunnel and den which leads to a woodland path leading through a winter garden/shrubbery leading to the summer pavilion and a second lawn. A secondary seating area lies under the Zelkova serrata and beyond is wild flower planting in the grass and among the orchard trees. Charlotte Rowe has designed lighting for both the areas immediately off the house as well as some of the mature trees within the existing landscape.

The garden is being completed in December 2017 and will provide a much more usable and open landscape with a mix of new planting, trees and larger lawn areas for family to enjoy.

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