Garden Design in Goring-on-Thames

Photography by: Mark Lord

This large garden in South Oxfordshire was designed to complement a stunning modern Arts and Crafts-style house, designed by locally-based Cutler Architects.

The bold, imposing property had the minimum of functional hard landscaping – gravel drive, paths around the house, a large expanse of Indian sandstone and a single planting bed at the front of the property.

Anchoring the house into its landscape

The garden design brief was to create a modern garden that helped anchor the house in the landscape, whilst making the most of the views from the indoor pool, kitchen, library and living room, whilst also creating a lower maintenance driveway of resin bound gravel.

In the front drive, the inclusion of much larger borders either side of the front door gives better scale in proportion to the large house, with planting of Yew cubes and domes to provide year-round structure and interest. The softer planting in these borders follows the bold architecture with a restrained palette of evergreen grasses and a colour scheme of black, green and white; black being a theme throughout the garden.

Adding texture and contrast

A series of rear terraces laid with a mix a of beige and black limestone punctuate the various internal spaces across the back of the house, using herringbone-laid Flemish brick pavers to sensitively delineate the different spaces, whilst adding texture and contrast. Due to the scale of the house these spaces were then given softening and year-round structure with the inclusion of large buttress-clipped Yews, which reflect the buttressing on the walls of the house.

The formal lawn, which acts as a frame to the stunning views beyond, is itself framed by a wildflower meadow, which connects the formal garden to the landscape. An ‘evening terrace’ situated under a black pergola creates an entertaining space in the evening sun.

Finally, the somewhat superfluous area to the side of the property has been given purpose as part woodland, part sunny space. The new multi-stem Golden Rain trees are underplanted with a mix of grasses and perennials to create a naturalistic, ornamental meadow feel.