Garden Design Projects in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the CotswoldsA selection of Rumbold–Ayers' most recent garden design projects in and around Berkshire and Oxfordshire are profiled below: click on the “read more” links below to see the full story:
Suburban Garden, Maidenhead, BerkshireSummary: Garden design for a large suburban back garden, associated with a house extension
Location: Maidenhead, Berkshire
Scope of work: Survey, Conceptual Plan and Visualisation, Initial Tree Planting Plan
Large Country Garden, Oxfordshire/Berkshire BordersSummary: Garden design for contemporary house set in just over 2 acres
Location: South Oxfordshire Downs
Scope of work: Conceptual Plan, Construction Details, Hard and Soft Landscape Specifications, Planting Plan
Although this late 20th Century house is constructed to a good standard, it is the garden design that offers the main opportunity to achieve a visually pleasing ensemble, including improved terracing, paving, and planting.
The majority of the circa 2 site is laid to lawn, with mature trees along the boundaries and immediately around the house. A public footpath runs the length of the one side, with downland grazing beyond. The only significant existing garden feature is the hard tennis court in the far corner of the site.
The design brief was to plan a contemporary garden, to improve the setting of the house in its surroundings, and to soften the visual effect of the tennis court. The clients were keen to have a large pond, and were also keen to improve the approach to the main entrance.
The gravel drive, lined with cherry trees, leads to a turning circle at the foot of wide front door steps.
Clipped evergreen yew hedges ensure privacy and seclusion for the conservatory and breakfast terrace on the south side of the house, with sculptures set around the terrace for added interest.
The main lawn meanders down to a small lake, with un-cut wild flower meadow on the left, partially screened by yew hedging with gaps: the visual effect is a seamless transition to the chalk downland beyond. Extensive planting on the right of the lawn, interspersed with grass paths, provides large blocks of colour throughout the summer. New tree planting – birch and field maple – helps to disguise the tennis court.
On the far side of the lake is a summer house, approached along a mown grass path that sweeps right around the lake through the long meadow grass. The summer house stands over the water’s edge, with views back towards the house, and provides an ideal spot to read or relax with a drink.
A choice of sunken paths lead up through the wild flower meadow, to the hornbeam walk. A line of hornbeams, with yew hedging to provide screening from the public footpath, leads back to the house.
- not built
Designing a Garden in Berkshire, Oxfordshire or the CotswoldsIf you're looking for further garden design inspiration, there are some excellent gardens to visit in and around Oxfordshire, including:
- Rousham near Bicester, Oxfordshire – has escaped alteration since it was first designed by William Kent in 1738, and yet some features such as the famous rill would not be out of place in a contemporary garden design.
- Blenheim Palace Gardens, Woodstock – great example of a Capability Brown design, albeit altered somewhat over the centuries. The Secret Garden is a new addition.
- Waterperry Gardens near Wheatley, Oxford – rose garden, formal knot garden, water-lily canal, a 200ft long herbaceous border that's claimed to be one of the finest in the country, and a recently added contemporary border, too.
The high, rolling landscape of the Berkshire and Marlborough Downs is the dominant feature across much of West Berkshire and South Oxfordshire. It is a thinly populated area, with many old houses traditionally built of brick and knapped flint, and garden designs consequently often reflect a more “traditional” feel. As always when dealing with poor chalky soils, planting design is of particular importance.
The other major landscape in Oxfordshire is the clay vale, bounded to the north by the Cotswolds, and bisected by the Thames Valley. Unlike the dry chalk downs, watercourses are an important feature in the clay vale landscape. The overall character is of 18th Century enclosure fields, with thorn hedges and small woods: most of the traditional buildings are brick, although some older walls and buildings are of limestone reflecting the influence of the Cotswolds. The generally acid clays have great potential for the garden designer.
The Cotswolds are defined by their limestone geology. The underlying unity provided by the use of honey-coloured Cotswold stone is fundamental to successful building and garden design in this region.
So, if you're wondering what to do next, why not call us for an informal chat on (01722) 714443.
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