Professional Garden, Berkhamsted

This garden was the third of three gardens we designed for the same property (see also Country Garden and Courtyard Garden). When we first visited this 2-acre Berkhamsted site the Victorian country house, Berkhamstead, was midway through a three storey extension and renovation.

Due to the topography of the site the gardens that surrounded the house divided neatly into three areas: an upper garden; a level sunny area and large sweeping front garden bordered by mature shrubs and trees.

Within the grounds of the property, in addition to the Victorian house, stands a detached Georgian coach house, from where my client runs her own business. The front garden had to provide an attractive access for both clients visiting the offices and guests visiting the main house, whilst maintaining clearly distinct from the private residential garden.

A pair of curved, automated Indigo hardwood gates, flanked with up lit curved walls and brick piers were designed to create a stylish entrance to the garden.

The access drive was restyled using sandstone edging and bitumen sealed gravel. As you approach the house and office, a small courtyard inlaid with sandstone pavers in a circular pattern links the two.

A retaining wall built from reclaimed bricks separates the two gardens, through which ornate wrought iron gates, decorated with a rose motif, provide access. A wrought iron sculpture panel inlaid into the wall creates an attractive focal point.

Red and orange tulips and red roses, as well as alliums and daffodils adorn the beds in front of the offices to create plenty of early colour.

The path led up to the meadow, while on the other side of the garden a formal sweeping stairway with wide brick steps illuminated by soft step lights led to the deck and summer house.

Beech, holly, hawthorn, yew and cherry create an attractive and secure mixed native hedge along the front garden boundaries.

Subtle use of red, which was a feature of the interior finishes to the house, was used to link the three gardens.

It was used in the different shades of brickwork specified for the walls, paths and the raised beds and for the planting; with the use of plants such as berberis, dogwood, phormium and smoke bush, which all have reddish hues; as well as plantings of red roses and tulips. This provided a unity to the overall scheme.

In Construction