Mangrove Hall project, near Luton

Turning the land surrounding a large countryside farmhouse into a diverse, multi-faceted garden of trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials.

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Kind of Project: A blank canvas – land surrounding a large countryside farmhouse.

Design Brief: To create a diverse, multi-faceted garden of trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials.

My Solution: A garden with interlinked, subtle elements that bring the house into the garden and create a smooth transition from garden into the surrounding countryside.

Hornbeam Arches Pedestrian Form

Arches of ornamental and productive trees create subtle transitions between different garden sections, including a rambling rose walk underplanted with Narcissus ‘Tete de Tete’ and Crocosmia masoniorum.

The summer air is filled with the fragrance of a multitude of intermingling but subtly-trained rambling roses. These have varying flowering periods, and are followed by beautiful hips to extend the period of interest. Meanwhile, the intermingling rambling roses are structured to created a sculptural affect in the winter sun.

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The garden is now surrounded by a new wall with green oak posts. These have brass rings threaded with hemp rope that allow climbers to create a backdrop to the mixed borders. Paths meander through the garden to create semi-gladed areas for summer play.

An area beyond the main garden was transformed into an orchard of apples, plums, greengages and damsons, segregated by Malus ‘Golden Hornet’. This gave a further ‘wow factor’ as a backdrop from the main garden.

A large pond was designed for this area, together with soft fruit trees, vine walks and carefully-placed seating. All these elements were designed to create a lung of life, with a habitat conducive for pollinating insects and vibrant biodiversity.

However, the pond and surrounding work was put on hold because of likely visits by small grandchildren.

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This site achieved 2nd in Horticulture Week magazine’s Professional Gardener of the Year Competition 2008.

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mangrove project

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