Arts and Crafts Garden, Cheshire

Existing conditions

The garden, behind a semi detached property established in the late 1800’s consisted of a patio to the back of the house which leads to a path running down the north side of the garden ending in some shallow steps. Beyond this was primarily lawn, a large raised planter, some outbuildings and young fruit trees. The latter part of the garden is under the canopy of some well established trees.

The Brief

The client wanted to keep a small section of lawn close to the house but remove the rest, establish an area to grow food with raised beds and a greenhouse, establish a solid path to the existing compost area, retain the patio at the back of the house and the path leading down the garden.

Design Process

The images illustrate the design process and part of what you can expect to receive upon completion of this stage.

The process begins with a detailed survey, collation of data and research from your project space and its surroundings. Conceptual design follows creating a strong idea which planning, and design respond to. Detail design then elevates the concept to completion adding finishing touches defining surface materials and planting.

The design for this garden was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement principles of formality, informality, strong lines, and the extensive use of planting.

We extended the existing square formality creating a rectangular lawn and large planting bed above a terrace. The existing path now steps into area with raised beds in a key-hole fashion no wider than 1200mm for ease of use, an open multiuse area housing a potting bench and a space for cold frames. Leading from this area, on one side a straight boardwalk offers direct access to the shed, the boardwalk is in line with the gate at the back fence and a bay at the back of the house maintaining a visual connection. The straight paths journey through the garden is fractal adding intrigue and movement. This was mirrored in the way paved areas cut into hoggin paths. Down the side of the greenhouse a small ramp leads to sinuous hoggin paths edged with steel running through extensive planting, navigating between fruit trees and leading to various seating areas offering views of the garden and the house beyond. At the end of the garden a stumpery with ferns and rocks creates habitat for invertebrates and amphibians and adds seasonal interest.
Planting uses a combination of evergreen and deciduous herbaceous perennials and shrubs. It is drift to planted to achieve swathes of colour down the garden.

The photos show the finished garden just after planting, we will return to the site in three seasons to update them.

It is important that a budget is established so the design can respond to it. This creates parameters for the intervention helping us as designers to get the most out of the design.