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Joined Up Thinking...

Dream Gardens - Garden designer Fi Boyle’s long-standing relationship with the owners of this previously disjointed garden in Dorset meant she was trusted to create flow and distinction, whilst also blending the space with its surrounding landscape.

The purpose of the design is to bring together different areas of the garden which have previously not been linked. The garden has evolved over a number of years in a slightly haphazard way so there needed to be a flow between the different spaces, with each area having a purpose. The conversion of the old piggery
prompted the need for a coherent garden plan.

The client requested a terrace in front of the building to include an area to sit in by the office, an area for eating outside with some shade, plus a more relaxed area to enjoy time with friends and family. As part of the home renovations an oak room is being installed, so the plan includes a terrace in front of this and screening to the tennis court. Borders were created for interest and to link with planting which was revamped.

The plan divides the garden into different areas which reflect the inner flow of the house and frame
the views out into the garden and wider landscape. It takes into account the varied levels along the west side of the house connecting the spaces along the way, working in the existing pergola and kitchen terrace. From the central part of the house, double doors open onto the terrace and the eye is then drawn by a series of square borders with a focal point.

The terrace in front of the oak room is framed by mixed planting to set it into context. By introducing the parterre style borders close by, the focus is then drawn away from the tennis court, along with trees and boundary planting. The office and converted piggery look out onto the southern side of the garden, so the need for shade here is key. Oak arches outside the office frame a walkway, creating a connection as well as cover. The long area outside the piggery has been broken down into different parts to make the most of the space. The first section is a gravel garden with a bench set against the wall and a large pot set in the centre.
The next space, the dining area, is set under a pergola surrounded by pleached trees that give dappled shade from the heat of the day and are underplanted with soft overflowing plants. Hedging divides the space and the borders, allowing for each area tohave its own character. A long path is framed with planting which takes you to a raised deck with comfortable seating and a fire pit from where the rest of the garden can be admired.

A large lawn stretches out to the wider landscape beyond and set into this is a swimming pool that has the appearance of a natural swimming pond. A mound has been created from the spoils of the pool build, with a spiralled path set into it creating a journey up to a seating area at the top. The sloped banks are stabilised with native wildflower turf creating a haven for wildlife. A decked frame separates the swim zone from the outer ponds so that it appears the water flows seamlessly between the two. With the use of trees, shrubs and a wildflower meadow, the garden blends out into the wider landscape.

The different sections of the terrace are not only defined by shape and form but are also given a different atmosphere by the planting. The gravel garden embraces shades of orange, yellow and red along with strong foliage, so that it is a hot garden. This then transitions into the dining area with a Mediterranean feel. Dappled shade is created by a wisteria growing over the pergola and also by the surrounding pleached crab apples. The narrow borders below are filled with Nepeta and Erigeron which spill out over the paving, softening the space. The path is framed by a long border where the planting is repeated to create rhythm. A hedge divides the dining and seating area which allows for planting around the deck to be different again, with more of a tropical feel. Carefully thought- out planting is key to blending the garden into the landscape.

Read full article here...Dream Garden Article - January 2022.pdf

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