the kiln and the ship
Suffolk, 1846. A brick kiln used to make Roman tiles is discovered in this area.
Sutton Hoo, 1939. An 80ft Anglo-Saxon burial ship with many treasures is found not too far from the site of this property and it is thought to be the most important archeology discover ever made on British soil.
The visit to the property.
The time spent on my own walking around that 'empty' space.
The shape of the ground gently sloping up to the right hand side of the house and then down as it comes closer to the left...
Water. I was surprised to hear of problems generated by flooding in Suffolk after I have moved from Italy. The place where I come from is mountainous and the water coming from small alpine streams, gathers and becomes stronger as it makes its way downhill. The strength of enlarged rivers destroys everything that encounters on its path. Trees, bridges, houses... all seem hopelessly weak against the force of water.
I was not expecting that being on a relatively flat surface water could be so powerful too.
For this design, I have imagined a flow of energy moving across the garden, such as of water that after being forced into a narrow passage is let free to take its course on the ground. The wooden fence around the horse paddock would be shattered only to be found here and there without any specific function. The land going uphill, would gradually reduce the strength of the flow and the water would gather at the lowest point of the garden.
During one of the early meetings, I was asked how would I transfer that abstract concept onto the landscape.
"With the planting".
from abstract to concrete
Using an aerial shot from Google Maps, and over imposing the abstract sketch onto the landscape, the garden is beginning to take a more realistic form.
The environment subsequently dictates a series of solutions.
The client chooses the way forward, according to personal taste and necessities.
In this solution, the client was happy to explore natural forms but the key elements such as striking planting effects, narrow corridors that lead into open spaces, atmospheric sceneries, relaxing retreats... they can all be achieved with a completely different design.
It is the client's taste that leads the way. The flow of ideas then follows the path.
- Extract from the documentation to the client.
The legend on the master plan shows what the areas could be once the project is completed.
No. 3 indicates a contemporary formal area, with lawns surrounded by neatly clipped hedges. Sculptures might be used to give more identity to each 'room'.
An orchard near the house relates the garden to its agricultural contest and provides a source of freshly picked fruits. Nearby, a gravel garden packed with herbs and cutting flowers, offers delightful additions for the kitchen and the house.
No. 6 shows the transition point between the cultivated garden plants and the more natural atmosphere of wild flower meadow and woodland. Tall yew hedges used to form impenetrable green walls, generate a desire to move along the corridor and find out what is coming next...
No. 12 shows the ditch that has been inspired by the Anglo-Saxon burial ship found at Sutton Hoo: a walk on a path below ground level with many hidden treasures to be enjoyed on a relaxed summer afternoon...
Colour-rendered plan showing the extensive flower meadow and the key elements in the garden.
The inspiration comes from the surrounding landscape: fields in regular shapes enclosed by hedges. A repetition of rectangles more or less constant, dictated by cultivation requirements.
An initial formal area of lawns surrounded by hedges, creates a perfect approach to this property. The flow operates a gradual transformation to naturalistic planting.
Elevations are useful to determine the mass/ void rapport.
Please note that the size of the trees shown are taking into account average dimensions at a mature stage.
Bird eye perspective
Approach to house
Sketch of the wild-flowers meadow as I would be seen at the end of the narrow path between the tall hedges
There was a natural ditch away from the house and just at the end of the small woodland.
A fireplace and a bench for a perfect getway from the family buzz...
Large gardens take time to be completed.
A smaller area might be selected instead. Often, it is the immediate portion of land around the house...
hard materials palette
Traditional materials to match the existing but 'worked' in a way to emphasise the man 'input' particularly evident near the house.
setting out plan
sections through paving and pool
hints on selected plants...
Plants to provide interest throughout the year and soften the sharp angles of the paving.
Planting style inspired by Dutch designer Piet Oudolf. My personal touch is the introduction of wild species amongst the cultivars, gradually allowed to take over and 'disperse' in the nearby meadow.