Cheshire Country Garden 20 years on

30 Years in Garden design

As we approach our thirtieth year designing and building gardens, it is inevitable that I am drawn back to visit previous defining projects. I always think it can take 20 or more years before a garden shows its true maturity, with the relationship and interplay between trees, larger shrubs and small plants, becoming finally resolved.

We have tackled a number of larger country gardens, the largest, near London, being 140 acres! These schemes need specific attention to get right, since they often include large tree and shrub planting, a forward looking vision is needed to plan and understand how this will resolve over many years to come.

Country  Garden, Tarporley Cheshire

This scheme was about 6 acres and once completed was staffed with a full time gardener, a rare luxury, these days! The scheme is featured in one of our earlier project listings, but on a recent visit, I became aware how well it has matured, hence the need to show off these images.


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The Lake is on three levels and follows the slope of the land, dropping a total of 1.2m over a 30 metre distance. I remember the look of horror on the clients face as we used a digger to drop fresh soil on the marginal (underwater) section of the freshly installed liner. This in fact allowed the many waterside plants, such as iris sibirica, to spread and colonise large sections of the water, giving a softer more natural edge to the pond.


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Rhododendrons and azaleas come from the  same genus and are much loved in the spring border. With their beautiful show of blooms and large (mostly) evergreen leaves combining well with other spring flowering plants like bluebells. Many of the flowers gracing the borders bring a fragrant note to the garden. The yellow/gold Azalea shown here is Knaphill Azalea Golden Sunset, they originally hail  from  North America, from the frosty Canadian plains to tropical Florida. These shrubs prefer fairly good amounts of rainfall, so Northern Europe is perfect for them.


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