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Bringing an historic public garden into the 21st century

Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa

The Brief

Leamington Spa is famous for its parks and gardens, of which the jewel in the crown is the Jephson Gardens, opposite the Royal Pump Rooms and bordering the River Leam. Thanks to Heritage Lottery funding, Warwick District Council were able to restore and improve these beautiful gardens, and I was asked to design and develop the Conceptual & Detailed Planting Design.

My design

Improvements included a contemporary lakeside pavilion housing a Temperate House, restaurant and education unit; the conversion of an old aviary into a tea kiosk; and the restoration of existing historic garden buildings. Mature planting needed to be carefully reviewed, upgraded and in some places completely rethought. Around the new pavilion, I introduced a fresh more contemporary style of planting, in contrast to the traditional borders and shrubberies elsewhere. Through more thoughtfully designed planting, I created a Winter Walk, a new Sensory Walk, and an ornamental meadow. Clipping hedges helped frame and improve views of historic monuments. Jephson Gardens has won several design awards including a Civic Trust Award, RIBA Award, and RHS Gardens Award.