Growing Vision Gardens - landscape gardeners in London

Large Country Garden with a Lake – soft landscaping


This was a large project where the lake had been re-sculpted and the borders reshaped. The focal point of the garden is the lake that is quite imposing as you enter the drive.

The new planting needed to soften all aspects of the lake and new waterfalls, which looked rather stark and heavy in the setting without planting. The hard landscaping needed to sit comfortably within the existing landscape.

The ideas for the planting were to create a feeling of continuity, movement and flow using very soft planting combined with dramatic foliage, and multi stemmed trees with evergreen structure for winter interest. Bold drifts of grasses and perennials seemed to work well on plan combined with dogwoods in variety. Dramatic architectural foliage plants such as Acer, Gunnera, Rheum and Rodgersia worked really well to soften the harshness of the new waterfalls, under planted with existing Primulas and other marginal plants.

Drifts of aquatic, marginal plants were planted around the lake to include varieties of Iris.

The gallery below shows photos before and after the project. Please click on each one to see a larger photo.

In spring there is an abundance of colour with Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’, Euphorbia Griffithii ‘Fire Glow’ and the acid green flower heads of Euphorbia c. subsp. wulfenii and other euphorbia combined with a variety of bulbs to include Snow drops, Narcissus, Tète a Tète, Muscari, Chinodoxia and Alliums. The Rhododendrons, Camellia add amazing colour and the dogwoods look fresh with the emergence of new leaves.

In summer the garden takes on different hues, there is tranquillity with the blues/purples of the Pervoskia, Lythrum and Verbena for a short time then the summer perennial fireworks dramatically kick in to include Crocosmia Lucifer, Rubeckia, Helenium, and Hemerocallis with the gold seed heads of the many varieties of grasses. Ground cover such as Alchemilla mollis, Persicaria in variety, Bergenia, Liriope, Hellebore and Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ add additional colour through the seasons.

In autumn the garden is again very dramatic, with bold colours of reds, purple, black and gold. The Rubeckia in autumn look very dramatic with the back seed heads against the vertical gold of Calamagrostis a. Karl Foerster. The colour of the Acers changing is a site to see.

In winter the coloured stems of the various dogwoods look fantastic with the gold grasses, Betula and perennial seed heads. There is enough structure throughout the winter with the Hellebores combined with the dogwoods, the evergreen shrubs to include Euphorbia, Rhododendron, and Cotoneaster franchettii.

The addition of mature trees adds height, structure, interesting bark texture as well as spring flowers and blend well with the existing trees.

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