Entertaining Garden, Dorset

Location: Dorset

Client: Private

Style: Residential

Status: Completed

Project: Country Gardens & Landscapes, Residential, Selected Projects

Design inspiration comes from unexpected sources.  After a visit to Morocco, the clients fell in love with the smooth feel of stone underfoot which they experienced at their hotel.  The memory of this sensation led to a desire to transform an old, unused, and unattractive concrete patio and adjacent area at their home in England into a contemporary country garden.  The property is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the clients wanted the new garden to be in keeping with the beautiful surrounding hills and grassland.

There are several entrances into the garden which all needed to provide satisfying vantage points from many different angles.  Our solution was to design several rooms, applying a soft and geometric approach to allow movement and flow while maintaining intriguing views. Portuguese limestone was used for the highly detailed paving layout, with all stone carefully cut at the quarry to create three main areas:  a dining area capable of seating  fourteen people, a relaxation area and a fire pit with seating for 14-20 people.  With highly polished black limestone and boxwoods adding depth and defining the space, the garden looks handsome in all seasons.  Multi-stemmed Amelanchier lamarckii add diaphanous features between these spaces. The fire pit and stone seating were made of honed limestone and accentuated with custom cushions.  Handmade clay planters, features in themselves, are from Belgium and planted with clumps of hebes. Throughout the space, there are long borders of grasses and herbaceous perennials including Astrantia, cow parsley, and irises which add a delicate nature to the garden.

This garden was shortlisted for Future Garden of the Year in the annual Society of Garden Designers Awards.