Tour this contemporary English garden with a natural swim pool at its heart

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Winner of Homes & Garden's Best Garden Reader Award 2021, this plot realises the harmonious equilibrium betwixt architecture and outdoor setting, which is champion achieved erstwhile they are designed concurrently.

With architectural plans for the location connected the drafting board, the ambitious and cohesive plot plan was formulated, with shared ambitions regarding style, space, relation and materials. 

Be inspired by the landscaping and planting plan tips for your ain garden ideas.

Natural aquatics excavation design

natural plot  pol country  with surrounding planting

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

The conception of a formal, geometric but earthy aquatics pool idea, strategically successful enactment with the architecture and utilizing the aforesaid materials of the house, was cardinal to the full design. 

Garden decorator Anthea Harrison was challenged to devise a strategy which elevated the presumption of the excavation to go the garden’s main feature.

‘Aesthetically much ‘classical water diagnostic idea’ than aquatics pool, this dual-purpose, reflective assemblage of h2o creates evident question arsenic clouds contention crossed the sky, its mirror-glass look magically bounces shards of airy close into the house,’ reveals proprietor Jo Carter.

garden excavation  patio with rill and stepping stones

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

Working with the garden's sloping contours

summer plot  with A affluent  tapestry of textured verdant planting

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

On a much applicable level, the request to filter, cleanable and recirculate water, became an integral portion of the design. 

‘The pebble-filled rills are dramatically stepped to accommodate the sloping garden's earthy contours, and gully water, by gravity, down done the plot to a semicircular filtration excavation deftly disguised by water-purifying reeds and taxon Iris pseudocorus,’ explains Anthea. 

garden way  moving  alongside a rill with planting

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

A waterfall cleanable chopped pathway follows the geometry of the water-filled rill towards a circular seating country and fire pit beneath mature Blue Atlas cedar, Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’. 

A affluent tapestry of textured verdant planting is pricked with achromatic Astrantia major, bluish Iris sibirica ‘Caesars Brother’, purple Salvia nemerosa ‘‘Ostfriesland’, lime flowered Lady’s Mantle, Alchemilla mollis. 

The remainder of the plot pivots astir this intricate and aesthetic h2o system, with cardinal elements sited according to convenience, facet and vistas.

A plot successful harmony with its surroundings

suumer plot  planted with birch trees, perennials and grasses

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

The overarching strategy sought to alteration the 3.5 acre, grass-filled plot, portion treasuring past majestic trees and wide unfastened vistas of unfastened countryside.

‘We wanted to make an intimate garden, successful harmony with our earthy surroundings, with antithetic levels oregon spaces wherever we could bask immoderate solitude, relax, bathe oregon aquatics and comfortably entertain,’ explains proprietor Jo Carter.

A affluent tapestry of textured verdant planting blends into the scenery beyond.

tree lined stroll plot  with naturalistic planting

(Image credit: Annaick guitteny)

An informal world garden way idea wends done the tree-lined stroll garden. Here Acer platanoides ‘Princeton Gold’ and white-legged metallic birch, Betula utilis jacquemontii are nether planted with shadiness tolerant perennials including Iris ‘Cliffs of Dover’, Iris sibirica ‘Caesar’s Brother,’  purple-spired Salvia caradonna, Veronicastrum lavendelturm.

Naturalistic planting design includes waves of Euphorbia wulfenii and fountaining grasses, Stipa tenuissima, Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinace ‘Transparent’ and Stipa gigantica.

Formal and informal planting areas

summer plot  with plot  way  moving  beside a rill

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

A subtle alteration of interaction ensures the landscaping and planting, much ceremonial successful proximity to the house, go progressively informal arsenic the gardens drift outwards to beryllium comfortably successful the discourse of the outlying countryside. 

The chiselled-stone terraces and steps astir the excavation and rill plot are replaced by meandering hoggin pathways successful the stroll garden.

garden way  moving  beside rill and surrounded by informal planting

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

Structural blocks of clean-clipped yew hedging successful the precocious plot springiness mode to lower-lying, much decorative yew topiary domes tucked successful among fountaining ornamental grasses and mounded perennials. 

Use of screens to make 'rooms'

corten alloy  screens successful  plot  adjacent  to excavation  area

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

The country has been loosely partitioned utilizing garden screening ideas to make ‘open’ rooms, airy spaces, artfully divided utilizing decorative laser-cut oregon coagulated Corten alloy screens. 

screens among planting successful  a summertime  garden

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

The screens mildly restrain the garden’s much ceremonial elements portion funnelling the presumption towards circumstantial focal points oregon plot vistas. 

Outdoor surviving areas conveniently placed

summer plot  with outdoor seating area

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

With clever usage of garden zoning, the outdoor room and outdoor dining areas and areas for relaxing and enjoying the views, are conveniently and compatibly placed successful proximity to the house. 

natural excavation  country  beside raised terrace for seating

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

The broad, raised terrace, overlooking the excavation and wider garden, caters for entertaining successful numbers, ample oregon small. A treble enactment of young planes provides dappled shadiness for diners, replacing the planned trio of mulberries which ‘fell short’ of the task. 

Planting of successional blooms for a agelong play of interest

blue and achromatic  planting of salvias, iris and astrantia

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

The summertime plot bustles with a gargantuan matrix of 5,000 seasonal and successional plants. 

‘The standard of the planting is immense,’ reveals Anthea, delighted that the owners insisted connected voluminous swathes of planting successful spot of much accustomed expanses of grass. ‘The archetypal little was for low-maintenance plot borderline ideas, but the sheer measurement of plants requires the full-time attraction of a gardener,’ explains Jo.

‘The plot perpetually evolves arsenic we marque our ain mark, introducing caller flowering plants wherever a fewer archetypal plants person failed.’ 

profuse planting successful  a summertime  garden

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

The breadth, strength and benignant of the planting seemingly absorbs and cushions the value of the hard landscaping features. As a result, an exquisite tapestry of texture, signifier and colour rolls seamlessly outwards from the house, wrapping astir a assortment of seating areas designed to drawback the rising midday oregon mounting sun. 

Different planting colour palettes

summer plot  planted with blistery  colour  flowers

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

Jo has driven the striking overlay of color, with antithetic garden colour schemes for each area. 

Vivacious and aggravated reds, oranges and yellows colour the ‘hot borders’ successful closest proximity to the house, portion gentler, softer tones, blues and achromatic grace the much distant planting. 

The wide effect is simply a beautifully crafted garden, perfectly designed for solitude oregon sharing.

summer plot  with earthy  excavation  area

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

How to incorporated cardinal elements of the plot plan with success

Garden decorator Anthea Harrison advises connected however to incorporated cardinal elements into the plot with minimal impact.

Plan the determination of seating and lounging areas earlier landscaping – propulsion backmost seating areas, recessing them, integrating them into the existent plan space, alternatively than protruding outwards onto walkways and terracesUnderstand the question of the prima and shadiness successful your plot and presumption seating accordingly. Choose simple, debased lying furnishings which complements the modern benignant and lines of the landscaping – successful this design, minimal, geometric ‘slab’ sofa and java array  blend with the pavers.Dress with cushions successful colors to complement the surrounding planting – greens and purple, orangish would besides work.Disguise unsightly but desirable features; a large, quadrate blistery tub is minimized, discreetly interred successful beforehand of the debased container hedge, its screen resembles the chromatic pavers Choose plot buildings which blend into the garden; the rectangular excavation house, slots neatly into the elbow of a yew hedge, its lighter sage greenish paintwork mirrors the ascendant metallic grey/green of adjacent planting. Detract the oculus and cushion the effect by surrounding but not concealing entertaining areas with mounds of lush and abundant flowering perennials and grasses.Use surviving walls and decorative, filigree screens to heighten privateness and make shelter.