Manor House near Marlow in Buckinghamshire.
This was the third property we had done for these clients. The owner was a very successful person in finance who had a genuine passion for plants and wildlife. Although the garden was already planted, the planting was very overgrown and shrubby and the client wanted to make it more contemporary and introduce much more herbaceous planting.
Babylon Design worked alongside the landscape architect and builders over several years to redesign the entire garden as well as improve and enhance the meadows and woodlands that came with the house.
The garden was divided by brick and flint walls and yew hedges allowing different colour schemes to be implemented. Pleached hornbeams and wide blocks of yew hedging were planted to enhance the structure of the garden and contrast with the more exuberant herbaceous planting. As the builders finished sections of the house and hard landscaping, Babylon Design worked with the customer to develop schemes that complimented the house and gave each area its own distinctive character. Each autumn, a selection of bulbs were added to newly completed areas to extend the season of interest further.
A huge 30-acre field was subdivided with several kilometres of native hedging and then sown with meadow flowers. An avenue of lime trees led out from the walled garden that was then planted with over a hundred thousand bulbs for spring. Additional trees were added into the hedgerows and oak trees were planted along the adjoining lane to enliven an otherwise dull section of road.
The 30 acre woodland, which had been neglected so long that it barely possible to walk through the brambles and fallen trees were opened up by cutting and stacking much of the fallen timber into piles and sculptures. Moss was encouraged to grow over these shapes and a network of grass and moss paths laid out in the woods for clients to walk their dogs in and exercise their horses. Over two winters, half a million bluebells and a quarter of a million snowdrops were introduced into bare areas. These have now spread into carpets that delight the owners. Careful cutting and management of the scrub and trees in the wood has allowed an incredible diversity of wildflowers to develop and six types of orchid now abound.