This was a really special garden. The setting was incredible – sat in front of a 16th Century barn, the space was intended to be a garden within a garden, specifically for the barn. The client, an incredible woman who made us feel at home from the very start – even setting up our own coffee machine and biscuit tin in the barn! – had been saving for and dreaming of this space for 15 years. You can see the watercolour she gave me by way of a brief – beyond this, she placed her trust in me to interpret this and take the finished result beyond her imagination, always being respectful of what I knew to be her aims, wishes and loves. It felt a truly collaborative project and it’ll be one that stays with me for a long time.

This was the brief – how great is that?!

Now let’s deal with the elephant in the room – I know that crazy paving isn’t fashionable. I know some people are of the opinion it should stay in the 70s and 80s. BUT, everything has a place and, using a fantastic mixture of new and reclaimed yorkstone (which we also used on the walling) and being creative with the pointing I think it was the most sympathetic solution to creating a patio/entertainment space in front of such an old, wonky, charming structure. And even more important than all of that, the client loved it and at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about – I fall in love with a lot of gardens, but when all is said and done the only one that’s mine is the one I have at home. It’s the client who keeps the garden, who cherishes it and enjoys it and nurtures it, so the genesis of a design should always be in what the client wants their garden to be; how it should make them feel; how it can augment their life in their home.

The rest of the garden is full of nooks and crannies for plants, the client’s crystals, candles, trinkets and surprises. The planting is soft and floaty, with differing seasons of interest and of huge benefit to increasing biodiversity in the garden. The upper section has a (decorative) beehive that was restored after being found in the back of the barn and as such the planting there focusses on pollinator friendly varieties. This continues down into the gravel garden with slightly more grass species for increased movement and winter structure and culinary herbs.

The materials across the board are warm, natural, many of them are reclaimed and all seek to honour the barn and the client. I have a very strong personal connection with this garden and hope I can visit through the years to see how it grows and changes.

Please click on a photo below to load the gallery of images, some taken on the day of completion and some taken a few weeks after, showing how quickly the planting can establish when done right. Please enjoy.

Please find below a gallery of images from the creation of this garden – click on a photo for a larger view and for a caption with more information

Do you love this barn garden design? Do you know someone who might? Please feel free to share a link to this page with anyone who might be inspired!