Location: Sharpes Farm, Hampshire
Mr and Mrs David Frank
Overview: A large country estate, comprising a thatched 18th century cottage, granary and large converted barn in the heart of Hampshire surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside.
Design Brief: Sitting lower than the main garden level, the house felt awkward and disconnected and was a major challenge to re-connect it to the garden which was tired, old-fashioned and inward looking. The clients wanted something more exciting and better suited to their lifestyle. UK Garden Designer Stuart Barfoot was approached to develop a new design.
Our brief from the client was to completely redesign the garden addressing the slopes and level changes and open up the view from the house to integrate the field and landscape beyond.
We were asked to design a larger terrace close to the house for dining and entertaining, connecting to the granary and barn, removing the awkward level change and create a garden on this lower level. Create a private more secluded garden close to the master bedroom connected to an enclosed potager.
We have created a large flag-stone terrace on one side of the house that connects the granary and barn and can be used for dining or entertaining. A series of curving flint walls retain the upper slope, echoing the shape of the thatched roofs and allow for an area of lawn and richly planted borders. From here a gently sloping grassy path, winds up to connect with the meadows beyond and is flanked by a simple planting in white and rich blue of phlox, anemones, geraniums, wild roses, viburnums, hydrangea Annabelle and drifts of rich blue Iris sibirica.
On the other side of the house, the use of low retaining walls and yew hedges has enabled us to create a sunken, private garden on the same level as the bedroom. The irregular brick edge beds are planted with rare and unusual plants and Himalayan exotics such as blue poppies, tree ferns, furry leaved hydrangea aspera, tree peonies, striking blue iris, scented rhododendrons, Magnolia Porcelain Dove and Himalayan anemones. A large water tank gives some soothing sound and adds another layer to the garden.
From here, steps rise to a potager inspired walled garden, with overlapping circular wood and York stone terraces accommodating a sunken hot tub on the upper level. Clipped myrtle cushions surround the terrace in key places. A Victorian greenhouse is used to overwinter lemons and grow exotics in the summer months and borders are planted with an interesting mix of annual flowers and vegetables allowing the clients to experiment and have fun with new plants and vegetables.
The final phase of planting is scheduled for Autumn 2015