The South Oxfordshire Landscape Garden

The inspiration for The South Oxfordshire Landscape Garden was the Brunel railway bridge on the River Thames, between Moulsford and Cholsey in South Oxfordshire, and the native planting surrounding it.

The rear feature wall and terrace in the garden were inspired by the brickwork arch on the underside of the bridge, which is laid in an off-axis pattern, creating a hugely impressive effect that draws comment from all those who walk under it.

The planting in the garden takes its lead from two very contrasting ecosystems that sit side by side on this part of The Thames. The slightly raised riverbank contains a diverse range of wildflowers, providing pinks, whites, blues and yellows in colour.

The planting palette for this 5×5 metre garden was chosen to reflect some of the forms, textures and colours of these Thames Path plants, whilst using specimens that better fit the scale of the relatively small space – as well as flowering time for the show.

The planting to the extents of the garden is inspired by the bold, more restricted plantings on the flood plains that adjoin the Thames Path, where acres of often just one plant, Sedge, can be seen.

The main structural planting in the South Oxfordshire Landscape Garden uses pollarded Willows, a river bank mainstay, and dome-clipped Yews, which mimic the blocks of shrubs that spill into the Thames.