This garden sits in a residential part of Godalming. The Victorian house and garden have some lovely established trees, namely a huge magnolia, a large yew tree and a few lovely wonky old apple trees. There are four areas to the garden – the front drive and front of the house, the main garden at the back of the house, a vegetable garden area and a pond and utility area.
We started with the area immediately behind the house where we have created effectively four separate zones, around a new circular lawn. The area immediately in front of the existing terrace has mixed perennial planting of David Austin roses Desdemona, Roald Dhal and Munstead Wood and mixed perennials. The gap in the low wall between the paving and planting area was widened to create more of an entrance to the circular lawn and the beds on either side made much deeper.
The western boundary has a new fence and screening provided by a pleached hornbeam aerial hedge and a long gravel path and rose arches run to the back of the garden. Planting beds have been created on both sides of the path – against the new pleached hornbeam using a mix of pittosporum and hydrangea as well as the lovely Rosa Penelope and on the garden side, curving beds of mixed perennials that skirt the edge of the circular lawn.
The area at the end of the garden is heavily shaded by a very tall laurel hedge that does a good job of screening the neighbouring house behind it. The planting in this area is a mix of woodland shrubs, tall single stem Betula jaquemontii, cornus for winter stem interest, grasses and perennials, as well as Rosa Roald Dhal and Rosa Penelope. Additional trees include two Amelanchier lamarkii, two acer griseum and two prunus Kanzan to be added in spring.
A beautiful sculpture by South African sculptor, Dylan Lewis, is centred opposite the entrance to the circular lawn, on the edge of the planting. This is lit with spotlights and backed with Calamagrostis Karl Foerster that frames it beautifully, especially when lit up at night.
In the area to the east of the lawn is the giant magnolia. It was felt that planting beneath this should be kept minimal and the area up to the beech hedge that separates this part of the garden to the utility area behind it is filled with Pictorial Meadows Woodland Edge meadow turf and bulbs. A seating area is in front of this, up against the beech hedge, and is a lovely spot to catch the afternoon light.