Large Country Garden, Dorset

We designed this windswept coastal garden in Dorset almost 10 years ago, but it is still one of our favourites. The traditional farmhouse buildings are surrounded by rich, meadow pasture and rolling hills with views to the sea. The front garden is swept by icy cold winds in winter and a strong south westerly wind will occasionally blast the main garden too – wind really matters here!

The farmhouse had previously been two separate properties and the surrounding grounds needed to be unified to provide a connection with the timeless landscape and to complement a new contemporary interior.

We used Purbeck stone in different forms to introduce strong structural elements and provide varied textures both underfoot and on the walls. The stone was softened with lush layers of ornamental grasses and tall perennials to take advantage of the strong coastal breezes and create a joyous feast for the senses.

Where once an old driveway stood, we introduced a summer-flowering meadow and enhanced it with bulbs to give it a lift in Spring. A mown pathway through the garden gently leads your eye through the plot at ground level and gives access to functional areas of the garden such as the glasshouse and vegetable garden.

The sharp drop from the entrance to the farmhouse was replaced with a generous walkway that steps gently into the landscape allowing the viewer to enjoy the fabulous views of the countryside beyond.

We also transformed an existing swimming pool with a new deck and an abundance of sumptuous planting, including a drift of lavender planted en masse to soften the hard edges between the pool and the house.