The garden occupies an enviable position beside the Exe Estuary in Devon, with extensive views over the tidal waters and reed beds. Expansive views are inevitably accompanied by exposure to wind, summer sun and winter storms. Planning sensitivities and the need to balance open views with a degree of privacy also guided the design process. A large lawn was required, with scope for a marquee and entertaining on a lavish scale. More intimate areas for seating, sunbathing and dining are sheltered by yew hedges. Swathes of perennials and grasses were planted on the estuary side of the garden, echoing the reed beds opposite. From July until mid winter these provide a changing tapestry of form and colour that sways in the wind and gives some filtered screening from passing boat traffic. On the the more sheltered landward side, a romantic garden of lavender and rambling roses encloses a wave-shaped lawn.
Much of the garden area was severely compacted during renovation and remodelling of the house and had to be deeply cultivated before any planting could begin. Terraces around the house and swimming pool are paved in pale grey limestone, with charcoal grey limestone blocks used for the parking forecourt and principal footpaths and fine crushed limestone for the less heavily trafficked paths.
Garden perennials and grasses echo the reed beds opposite
Grasses and perennials screen the garden from the river
Calamagrostis, miscanthus and asters beside a limestone path.
Drought-resistant plants including evening primrose (oenoethera) and sea holly (eryngium) growing through a pebble mulch.
Lavender and rambling roses.
Seating area enclosed by yew hedging
Stainless steel arches clothed in rambling roses in the more sheltered part of the garden.