Old House, Norfolk


Location: Norfolk

Aspect: South-facing

Soil Type: Light Loam

Existing Features

Running at a slight angle, a path extended away from the orangery at the back of the house to the garden. With no contextual planting or sculpture surrounding it, it was isolated, out of context and failed to link the house to the rest of the garden.

The House

The house is a wonderful old Jacobean property, set in a large garden in South Norfolk with a modern orangery linking the back of the house to the garden.

Creating Garden Spaces

A moat divided the extensive garden into inner and outer spaces. The inner garden, which had been developed several years earlier, had matured nicely but needed linking to the house. Beyond the moat, patches of lawn and groups of trees dotted the open parkland. My clients wanted a strong design which connected the house to the areas of the garden, encouraging them to explore and delight in these spaces, enjoying a journey of discovery along the way.

A Classic Harmonised Design

To complement the period property, the garden design needed to be fairly classic, harmonising with the style of planting elsewhere. Being a large garden, my clients didn’t want it to be overly fussy or high maintenance. We, therefore reused the rose arches to frame the re-aligned path, adding outer lines of topiary yew cones to provide extra strength, depth and balance to the view.

In the heart of this space, I created a circular area. Paths radiated out from this space linking to other areas of the garden. This circular junction point was enclosed by a curved yew hedge which, when stepped into, felt like you were entering a different room.

Running away from the circular area, we created another path and a bridge over the moat to the parkland.   

Why I Loved Working on this Design

Central to the brief and probably my favourite part of this design was to reuse some of the existing materials found in the garden. The rose arches were renovated and painted black. The dovecot was relocated, bringing it front and centre to the design. It provided a simple focal point where it could be appreciated from all angles like it was meant to be there. It was a joy to open up and re-link the garden spaces to the house. This included an island garden surrounded by a moat on one side and open parkland on the other side with a central garden key to linking them all.

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