The garden was intended to be a contemplative space with a dreamy, slightly surreal character. It could be a private garden but was conceived more as an installation, an idea of how a complex and subtle space could be formulated from simple repeated elements.
The layout was composed by overlaying of a number of separate patterns: a grove of thirty-year old cloud-pruned hornbeams, a pattern of paths in Flemish bricks, a number of zinc tanks brimming with water, and an undulating tapestry of herbaceous planting, predominantly green with a few white flowers.
The garden was in part a reaction against the traditional ‘Chelsea garden’ with its eye-catching features and assumptions about how people will experience a space. It was also about atmosphere and mood, setting an intentional contrast between the alluring beauty of the exterior with its white peonies, and the more melancholic middle part of the garden.
Drawing by Tom Stuart Smith