Memorial Walled Garden Proposal
The proposed memorial garden at Arley Hall is intended to be a place that is both serene, contemplative and quietly ceremonial. The walled garden is split into four individual gardens; each garden representative of one of the four seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. There is a great emphasis on naturalism in the planting and on an underlying progression of the gardens through the seasons. The seasons of the year reflect the stages and cycle of life. However, although the gardens are seasonally themed care will be taken to ensure that all four gardens look good at all times of year.
Each of the four gardens is enclosed by a high wall. The niches are located within the structure of the wall. Each niche will contain the ashes of the deceased with an inscribed locally sourced natural stone cover. Within the garden, a network of hedges form the primary visual means of enclosure and division between remembrance spaces. The enclosed spaces will have some simple seating but otherwise will be empty.
As well as the new walled gardens the project will also reinstate the lost double lime avenue, originally planted c1845. Today only a handful of the original trees remain, but new tree planting of Limes will ensure that once again this will become a strong north-south feature of the landscape at Arley.
The Summer Garden will be the first quadrant of the overall walled garden to be built. The garden is centred on a large circular reflective pool, fed by a rill that connects to a trough within the timber structure pavilion/shelter to the north. The circular pool represents the sun and the perfection of heaven. The trough, as the source of the water, connects with the idea of the Holy Well.
The pool lies in the centre of a square lawn which is studded with tall columns of beech. These create the character of columns in a church. The columns will be reflected in the water. They will also extend into some of the surrounding flower beds. The intention is to create a space that is beautiful and contemplative but also impressive and even slightly monumental.
The surrounding planting areas are envisaged as being planted with colourful planting, including flowering shrubs and roses and small flowering trees such as Cornus kousa, Styrax, Pterostyrax and Catalpa. The low-level planting is seen as being almost entirely of perennial plants, low shrubs and bulbs.
The hard materials of the garden are seen as being of the highest quality. York stone and other British stones for the paving of principal paths and terraces, secondary paths to be of local gravel with robust steel edges.