© Marianne Majerus
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Cheshire garden

The house, with adjacent walled garden, was built around 1840, looking out over the level Cheshire countryside.

The idea for the walled garden was developed as a secluded retreat in contrast to the open sweep of landscape beyond. The space is divided into two distinct and contrasting sections, which are separated by a long lily pond and terrace. The upper section is made up of a series of rectangular beds planted with cloud-pruned hornbeam. The planting under and around the trees is mainly made up of white flowered perennials and foliage plants such as Rodgersia podophylla, Hosta Devon Green and Epimedium. The intention was to create a pure and dream-like place, representing an ideal of the orderly life. This contrasts with a lower section of the garden which is much more colourful, unstructured and riotous with colour. This part of the garden is seductive in a different way.

Around the edge of the garden are located three pavilions designed by Jamie Fobert, which look in on the character and composition of the garden. So engagement with the spaces is matched by a degree of introspective detachment. The central area is the contemplative heart, the long pool is flanked by a rectangle of purple moor grass threaded through with lines of low box.

Around the house the design for the garden has emphasised the difference between a grander more public side and the more intimate garden front; there the planting is more extensive and enclosing whereas on the entrance front it is limited to a wide border planted against the house. Future planting around the house is planned to create more intimacy and variety while maintaining what is primarily a parkland setting.