the Brief.

The surrounding landscape is characterised by large regular fields, with small woodlands on light loamy soils. Agricultural buildings near the house to serve the vegetable production have been built throughout the years. Whilst recent development carried out at the front of the house have enhanced its character and improved the sense of arrival with a new entrance and driveway. 

The front garden is characterised by a large lawn, separated from the house by a restored arch probably part of an old enclosed courtyard.The back garden includes a gently sloping lawn, a small terrace and some areas of planting.  The view to the 5 acre horse paddock is open. 

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Behind the paddock is a small woodland, contained within the fields. A swimming pool is also present at the back of the house, and is enclosed by a tall brick wall on three sides. A wooden gate provides access from the house, whilst some fencing panels have been used to block the access to unattended dogs and children. 

On the South-East side of the garden, there is a small pond and a spring delivers small quantities of water. The whole garden is rabbit-proofed, and surrounded by hawthorn hedges, kept at 1.4m in height. 

The back garden would have to maintain its sense of enclosure, but the view could be opened particularly on the South-East side where the tall planting is at the moment preventing this from happening.  Hedges are well maintained and could be used as visual and physical barriers, as well as part of the design elements. More space for entertaining  is one of the main requirements, and a link with the terrace at the front would be ideal. The level of maintenance ought to be kept low. However, plants that self-seed in the garden would be more than welcome! 

Wild flower meadows and a bigger woodland seem to be adequate to suit the client’s taste and would represent a possibility of use of agricultural land. Prairie planting, in the form of large drifts of perennials will also be approached where suitable. The pond will be redesigned and proportioned to the house. The solution of a natural swimming pond will be explored. A new and more defined planting palette, balancing the mass and void rapport at the front of the house would improve the atmosphere, and enhance its character. Taller planting should be introduced here to partially hide the agricultural buildings and create a stronger distinction between the house and the farm.