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A thatched cottage garden, backing onto water meadows

Test Valley, Hampshire

The Brief

This long narrow garden was bordered by mature hedges and trees, but a blank canvas within that frame. The owners wanted interesting planting that wouldn't obstruct the views over the water meadows or require too much in the way of maintenance.

My design

My aim was to make the garden seem wider, by sub-dividing it width-ways, and creating different areas, each with its own character and style of planting. Outside the garden door, an informal terrace features an attractive mix of reclaimed paving materials. A small formal lawn is surrounded by brick paths and plantings, with clipped box cubes providing structure. A round lawn, surrounded by "wings" of beech hedging, provides a calm green space in summer; while, in the Spring Meadow daffodils are followed by white blossom and fritillaries. Cowslips are self-seeding around the fruit trees, where a seat provides the perfect place to enjoy those wonderful views across the water meadows.