When Joyce first visited, this garden was basically a large field including an overgrown pond. Over a period of five years, Joyce has carried out a series of design projects. The result is a low-maintenance, natural, four-acre garden including an orchard, wildflower meadow and a much-improved and attractive pond. The front of the house has a real ‘wow’ factor with a bespoke Corten steel pergola over a Corten water feature.
A large but plain patio had been installed behind the house and Joyce was initially commissioned to create new features that added interest and appeal. She designed a semi-circular bed, with gravel and a stepping stone path through it, which made the view from the house more attractive. Planting was concentrated close to the house where the activity and lights usually deter rabbits from causing damage in the beds.
Box hedging and spheres were added to give structure and formality. Topiary was positioned in Urbis Design pots on the patio. This creates zones and breaks up the large expanse of paving.
A new 12-metre wide, clay-lined, natural wildlife pond was created. Millboard decking extends over the water’s edge and a brick-built summerhouse provides lots of opportunities for entertaining. There are various seating areas around the pool, offering different views, and a stunning Corten steel water feature sits at the upper end, which you can see from the house.
Home owner Rose Acres said: “Before Joyce began working on the garden, I didn’t tend to move off the patio. Now we have a garden that we can spend time in all year round.
“We can enjoy sitting by the pond, which looks so natural. We can have barbeques and entertain friends and family in that part of the garden, close to the summerhouse.”
An orchard and wildflower meadow were planted in 2017 with fruit and ornamental trees. Access is through a pergola arch and gateway. The meadow just requires mowing late in the season after the seeds have dropped, but otherwise it can be left alone to do its own thing.
Rose said: “It was important to me to have a low-maintenance garden. I want to enjoy time out of doors, but I don’t want to be spending all my time constantly working in the garden.”
A mown path leads to an arbour and the area is under-planted with thousands of snowdrops. Roses climb the pergolas.
There is a winter garden near the driveway, so that whatever the season there is always something of interest and colour.
A cutting bed, to the side of the house, was created so that colourful blooms - annuals and perennials - can be picked for the house.
A new front garden was created that combines low maintenance and a ‘wow’ factor. There is a bespoke Corten steel pergola over a Corten water feature. Standard holly trees are set in formal beds with limestone pathways.
Rose said: “The front of the house was just grass before, but now it is very striking and lighting adds to the impact as you approach the house in the evening. The front is more formal, but there is also a table and chairs so we can sit out there as it is sometimes more sheltered. Lots of lavender and other plants and shrubs attract the insects and I love that everything has a purpose.”
“Working with Joyce over the years has always been enjoyable and easy,” added Rose. “She is always open to your suggestions but she is knowledgeable about plants and explains what they do, how they are maintained and how they will grow each season. She is always happy to take you to see the plants, trees and shrubs that she’s recommending.
“I love how our garden looks now and how we can use it.”