Set in a rural location close to Winchester, the site of this garden is a tale of two opposing qualities: The natural beauty of views over ancient water meadows to the South, and the imposition of the noise from the motorway running along the Eastern border of the property. The original garden had become neglected and focused towards the road with few places to relax and enjoy the space. The new garden aims to focus attention back upon these meadows whilst reducing the road noise – “Islands of calm’ are created throughout the garden to shield the noise from the road and appreciate the views out over the meadows.

The theme for the garden is taken from the surrounding landscape with the streams, meadows and islands of the River Itchen have inspired the design.

Upstream, the river splits and branches forming organic shaped islands and meadows. Downstream, towards Winchester, the river is managed by sluices and ditches which have resulted in rectilinear and controlled patterns. The interplay between these natural and controlled shapes forms the structure for the garden which can be seen as an island set within the stream.

The design features a representation of this river formed in mounded earth and steel which snakes around and through the garden. This meandering form unites the space and forms the shape of a wider island the garden sits within.

Inspired by the river, moving water is also a key theme. This rises from a source by the house and leads through the garden towards the meadows and river below.

Kitchen Terrace

The kitchen leads out onto a clean rectilinear design to match the modern architecture of the new extension. These hard lines are softened with creamy dry stone walling allowing a transition to rustic elements in the thatch and brick-fronted cottage.

This terrace is the beginning of the river representations within the garden, with the source of water and the first steel river sculpture located up on the slope. A spring wells up and the water cuts through the first serpentine sculpture and begins its journey through pools and small cascades down and through the garden, playfully coming in and out of view. This sinuous channel runs from this source right down to the water meadows beyond.

Front Garden

The front garden is the most traditional formal area of the garden. It is set between the barn and hedging, and laid in a grid pattern running away from the front door which frames views out from the house down to the meadows. This grid structure gives way to the organic forms of the river as we move further from the house and terraces.

A ribbon-like rill runs between the lawn and the beds and links the barn terrace to other parts of the garden.. Although formal in structure, the beds are planted in a more naturalistic modern style with a heavier reliance on grass species to link to the meadows and to rustle in the breeze.

To the East of the garden space is given over to become a wild meadow. Running though the meadow are sinuous landforms in moulded earth and steel, the largest representations of the river forms in the garden. Here the meandering shapes can be fully appreciated. These provide year round interest and can be enjoyed from a distance, they will look especially good with the long shadows of winter. To complement this, the woodland edge behind these sculptures is planted for winter interest with pollarded willow and brightly stemmed dogwoods.