Harbour Side Garden

Situated in an idyllic setting on the banks of Christchurch Harbour, this garden was designed to make the most of the stunning views across to one of the area’s most scenic headlands at Hengistbury Head.

The original garden was laid out with little connection to the surrounding landscape, so our design focused on removing anything that wasn’t essential, in order to let the view and location work its magic.

From the house, a gently curving lawn with flowing borders – echoing the ebb and flow of the water beyond – leads to a partially hidden terrace of local Purbeck stone, chosen to connect to the wider landscape of the Dorset coast. Boulders interspersed with pockets of coastal planting extend the connection, and oak posts form a boundary fence, cut at varying heights to form a wave-like pattern and create a striking architectural backdrop.

Planting had to be chosen to withstand the strong salt winds as well as occasional flooding. Beginning with a more formal style around the house, ribbons of grasses and herbaceous perennials sweep down to the terrace providing seasonal highlights and pops of colour. Elsewhere, planting echoes the wildflowers of the nearby Jurassic coast bringing a sense of the local landscape into the view from the house.

The design also includes an area of relaxed seating with a separate area for sun loungers – a peaceful spot to enjoy the wonderful combination of light, water and the view.

The garden was named best Small Residential Garden at the Society of Garden Designers Awards in 2017. The scheme was also a Finalist in the Hardscape category in the same year.