A Country Landscape
This large landscape garden in the Essex countryside was designed for a London client, where an expansively converted village barn was invigorated with distinctive focal points, symmetrical Box hedges and architectural planters. Textural outdoor zones soften a collection of satellite buildings, improve fluidity, and sustain vital wildlife, where we sought to create an extended analogy of our clients' affinity with natural and contemporary landscapes, amid tranquil country fields.
Design & Words: Amir Schlezinger
large country garden design 5-hectare
Surrounded by agricultural fields near Saffron Walden in Essex, this weekend home includes an intriguing range of outdoor amenities, set within a large landscape garden. We designed a Barbican roof terrace for our clients, and this time around, we focused on enhancing their country garden with contemporary compositions around its buildings. A shaded back patio features an intimate garden setting within open grounds, while the landscape design surrounding the house integrates architectural planters, since planting in the ground isn't feasible. A large swimming pool, tennis court and a multifunctional sports barn provide valuable facilities, utilised frequently by family and guests.
As the house front faces south, we planted mature Olive trees across its entrance driveway, while for the north-facing dining patio, situated at the back, we selected Buxus hedging and Ginkgo trees. To balance the building's large scale, we displayed tall multi-stemmed specimens in bespoke powder-coated containers. The distinctly structural hedge designs generate low rectilinear forms to match a symmetrical facade, spanning two metres in both width and length. To soften the barn's solid cladding, each unique planter design features a recessed niche, producing staccato rhythm with dynamic shadow and light interplays – exuberantly melding a country garden with contemporary designs.
Design for Scale
Each area of the grounds was planted according to character. While the annexe is designed as a cottage garden, we interspersed herbs and perennials for wildlife. The sports barn required dense shrubs to balance its large scale, augmented with irrigation and lighting. Here, where the roofline is 8-metres high, we designed a trio of ultra-large white conical pots which balances vertical cladding, viewed as a focal point from the poolside. Highlighted by milky Silver birch trunks, the vessels' light-toned colour contrasts this immense structure, while the trees integrate seamlessly into a landscape of flowing country fields.
The pool patio unfolds an expansive vista of the garden, where we preserved uninterrupted sightlines. A sprawling, raised herb garden by the kitchen replenishes fresh ingredients for cooking, leading out to a Japanese garden hideaway as the most recent addition to our design & build projects here over the years. With the west boundary open to a rural landscape, there's undoubtedly much charm in the interplay of man-made objects and natural elements, expressed through a diverse planting scheme for a modern country garden. On a still evening, the balmy Essex sunset accentuates the site's distinctive character, where a horticultural ‘nature vs. nurture’ methodology forms new, contextual and rather intimately connotative interactions for our maverick client.