24 June 2013 By Laura Bradley
The perfect garden collection is a gathering of four established family-run companies sharing a commitment to exceptional craftsmanship; creating timeless designs to enhance gardens and outdoor spaces.
This year we wanted to showcase our collections in a stunning garden and we were fortunate enough that one of our customers allowed us to host a private view of their garden, which included craftsmanship from every partner, in Hertfordshire.
With many months in the planning the day finally arrived and in true British style we had a day of all seasons... Brollies at the ready, the gates opened at 10am.
The gardens were phenomenally well maintained to an awe inspiring standard. The attention to detail at every turn was staggering – you needed to walk around the garden a number of times to take it all in; with the refreshment tent at the ready it was a day enjoyed by all. The day allowed guests to explore the garden at their own pace or join guided garden tours with the Head Gardener and Garden Designer, Julie Toll.
The house was originally owned by Inchbold School of Design, and John Brookes (the godfather of garden design) was involved with the design of the garden some 35 years ago – so when Julie picked up the reigns with the new owners of the house about 7 years ago - she had a good foundation to start from. Every area of the garden has been revised to accommodate the busy life of the resident family without compromising the look of the garden. Originally, for example, to get to the house from the walled garden you had to walk through the car park. Julie’s design relocated the access so the family walked through a paved garden leading to the walled garden, with the car park hidden behind hedges. The area to the back of the house where the barn and swimming pool area has recently been completed, has lawn and meadow detail – Julie’s next challenge is to look at restoring a balance by introducing more shape and purpose. The garden keeps evolving and the attention to detail is second to none – not only choosing the very best plants, structures, sculptures, furniture and pots (naturally!), the hinges on doors are meticulously designed as key features and deer protection gates are ornate and add to the garden rather than a eye sore. The paving to the front of the house matches the thin bricks of different sizes used on the house.
We would, of course, think that the walled garden is the best bit, but it really is...Walking through the gates you feel like Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden.To the west, we saw an orchard with meadow-like grass and in the north-west corner the ‘working,’ Alitex greenhouse in which all the fruit and veg for the garden is raised from seed. The rest of the garden is made up of four quarters with the Alitex ‘orangery,’ greenhouse as a focal point in the centre providing much needed space to sit and relax. The view from the lobby of the greenhouse is a stunning water feature. The garden has a number of raised beds for each season, made up of different materials from stone to core 10 steel (an upmarket steel that rusts but does not rub off when you touch it).
To create a garden of such quality and attention to detail takes great passion and drive from the owners. Julie’s ability to translate this into inspirational and practical designs is something to behold and the six strong gardening team ensure that this vision is realised.
Guests were asked to contribute towards the day by purchasing raffle tickets supporting a hefty bill of repairs to the local church – we are delighted to say we raised over £1,300.
All that is left to say is thank you to our customers for allowing us this exclusive access to their truly stunning garden.
The Perfect Garden Collection:
Alitex - http://www.alitex.co.uk/
David Harber - http://www.davidharber.co.uk/
Gaze Burvill - http://www.gazeburvill.com/
Italian Terrace - http://www.italianterrace.co.uk/
The perfect garden collection will next been seen stateside at ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo in November if you’re there do come and say hello. http://www.asla.org/annualmeetingandexpo.aspx