Renovated country garden, Northants.

My clients were about to extend their farm workers’ cottage with a new kitchen and upstairs room facing south, with large doors which they wanted to open onto a deck and firepit area. My client was to give her husband a birthday present of some options and plan for the rest of the garden, concentrating on the area near a new garage, leading to the house, and the driveway and front entrance area which guests would use, also used for taking the dog for walks. We were to do this entirely by email, as he worked opposite her! The works apart from the deck and drive were to be done by the couple.

After discussion I came up with a ‘stumpery’ area in the shady back garden, with a herb garden in the sunny end, with simple seating: a winding-down area between getting out of the car and entering the back door of the house. The front was harder as the drive went alongside the main garden but my client did not want fencing or many trees to divide the two. She wanted something formal but also linking to the beautiful views of open countryside to the south. I designed an approach from the drive which ended at the front door and managed to avoid the French windows as an entrance to the house. Curved beds echo the curved existing lawn wall and partially conceal the dog run without shading it too much. We decided not to have a circular area in front of the pergola walk as it was too complicated to look at, and concentrate on the vistas and the beautiful gates which were to be installed at the end of the pergola walk.

I look forward to seeing the new garden together with the new extension, which is now being built.

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