Great Expectations | Floral & Hardy | London | UK

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This is a beautiful period house in Rochester, Kent near to both the castle and cathedral, with views over the River Medway, and our clients wanted the garden to reflect that, both in style and quality.

Brief:

This is a beautiful period house near to both Rochester’s castle and its cathedral, with views over the River Medway, and our clients wanted the garden to reflect that, both in style and quality.

The new scheme was to have a traditional feel, to complement the age of the property, but, as our clients travel a lot, it was to be fairly low-maintenance and easy to look after.

Solution:

In the upper garden we included a random patterned paved area to sit in and to entertain, with room to seat at least six to eight people and room to move comfortably around the space. This patio area will be situated in the area at the top of the steps, possibly with a small planting bed between it and the railings so that the planting can be seen from the lower area and from the lounge.

Beyond that, there is an area of lawn that makes use of artificial turf to keep maintenance to a minimum.

The existing tree remained and the new scheme is traditional with a  cottage feel, with many old English garden favourites including Lavender, Honeysuckle, Clematis, Wisteria and Ceanothus. Our clients also asked for plenty of perfume, especially near to entrances and seating areas. We placed some espalier fruit trees trained along the south-facing wall, and also included some herbs, both growing between paving stones so as to release their scent when walked upon, and also in a ‘parterre’ surrounded by box hedging.

As a focal point at the end of the garden we built a pergola that will eventually be covered in the climbers that we planted, leading to a magnificent urn.

Lighting was added to create an exciting dimension to the garden, making it not only useable on summer evenings, but also visually accessible in the winter months. However, the lighting scheme was cleverly designed to respect the age of the property and to complement the overall design. With practical lighting to the steps and the new seating area, and up-lighting to the structural planting, the effects are dramatic, however, with the use of different circuits, a more subtle feel was achieved, according to the mood and occasion.

On a practical level, we included the original small shed at the end of the garden and an automated irrigation system was installed.

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