MAKING A CONTEMPORARY FORMAL GARDEN IN A RURAL SETTING
• Choose trees that will harmonise with the wider landscape – in this garden, the newly planted trees include native oaks, silver birches, field maples and hornbeams (1) to reflect the surrounding woodlands, while close to the house are multi-stemmed amelanchiers (2). • Keep planting low in front of windows so views remain unimpeded – Andy has used Hakonechloa macra against the house (2), then a narrow strip of lawn and a bed of ‘Hidcote’ lavender to allow full transparency. • Don’t try to compete with a great view – however good the planting between the house and the view, the view will always dominate – and it is maintenance-free. But remember open sites with good views can be windy so be sure to incorporate sheltered corners. • Planting can be more informal further away from the house – in this garden, billowy shrubs, interplanted with bulbs and perennials, lead up to the boundary of mature trees. • Keep the architectural planting close to the house – here a grid of long rectangular (3) beds set into paving match the clean, simple lines of the building. • Materials on paths and terraces can vary, but should be of the same palette – here there is a textural change from sleek sandstone (3) on the main path and terrace to setts (4) and self-binding Breedon gravel as you move further away from the house.