Back to the Garden
BACK TO THE GARDEN – The Brief
The owners of this beautiful old barn complex, converted into a successful farm shop, café and restaurant, realised after several years trading that a garden would be of enormous benefit to their business.
This would complement the imposing buildings and harmonise with the surrounding landscape; be a tranquil haven for eating, drinking and socialising; and effectively increase capacity for customers while enhancing their visitor experience.
It was essential to divide up the large space, making it intimate and inviting for families and individuals, whilst maintaining flexibility for holding public events organised by the company and also for private catered functions.
BACK TO THE GARDEN – The Design
Sensitively planted to pick out colours from the surrounding fields, countryside and nearby cottages; using natural materials including wood, stone, gravel, and water, the project retains ample space for picnicking, play, performance, outdoor exhibitions and entertaining.
This former concrete farmyard, enclosed by barns on two sides and a wall to the third was cleared (the concrete crushed and re-used) then divided into different spaces linked by generous pathways of Breedon gravel. A willow screen woven on site provides the final enclosure.
Four stone terraces were created, one surrounded by low painted walls topped by hardwood trellis.
The performance area is a large deck made from a contemporary recycled product, with a dramatic purple wall as backdrop.
Two lawns ideal for children to play on and adults to mingle are planted with 6 x Betula albosinensis ‘Fascination’, and a stone-rimmed raised pool was planted to attract wildlife. A screen of willow, woven on site, encloses the garden.
Each area is separated by blocks of flowering perennials including drifts of Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ and Achillea ‘Walther Funcke’ amongst others, punctuated by grasses including miscanthus, panicum and stipa.
Two locally-forged arches, designed to rust into the landscape are planted with grape vines and wisteria.