Ombersley Project

Ombersley Country Garden. 2019

My first impression of this garden was that it didn’t make the most of the amazing views of the surrounding countryside – and the client agreed. The use of space was also problematic: a massive patio area, an uninviting path, and a few random herbaceous plants.

The first action was to remodel the patio to make it more useful. The new design was based on the way the client used and moved about the space, with a smaller but more fluid shape, clear access to the kitchen, and a dead area freed up for planting.

The path was one of the main features of the garden, and it had to be right. I offered three different options at the Concept Stage, but secretly I had a favourite – and I am so glad she went for that one. Whereas the old path led your eye towards the neighbouring house, the new gravel path draws you towards the far end of the garden and the wider views beyond, A serpentine curve adds interest to the walk itself, and invites you to take your time enjoying the sights and sounds. 

With a farm building on one side of the garden, I planted a file of Sorbus spp along the boundary to create privacy during spring and summer while still letting as much light as possible in during autumn and winter. The client loved the seasonality of the garden, so I developed a planting scheme with year-round interest, with a good range of perennial plants such as Verbenas, Echinaceas, Gauras, Brunneras and Persicarias among others, and some structural planting like Pittosporum and Hebes to keep the shape over the winter.

I planted the garden out myself – something I always do when I have the chance – and in doing so kept and relocated most of the existing plants. One of the ‘last-minute’ decisions was to move two apple trees into the main lawn, to balance and soften that side of the garden. The client loved it!

I always recommend planting some bulbs for that extra lift in the spring. We opted for Tulips, to open the next seasonal cycle with a glorious burst of colour.


Modern Courtyard and Balcony in West London


South Kensignton