Guildford River Garden

I was pleased to be invited back to design a second  garden for my clients who had moved to a new property.

This handsome house is high above a river on sloping lawns which partially flood as the river swells with the rains of winter, as the water recedes the lawns are  left in a soggy state. My client asked for part of the lawn to be levelled for the whole family to enjoy. An area of lawn closest to the house was transformed by constructing a retaining wall, backfilling behind the wall with rubble and soil adding turf to make a croquet lawn.

Entering the gates to the front garden there were a row of very tall, dark green conifers that had been planted by a previous owner to hide the view of the rear garden from passers-by.

The area was made welcoming and bright by taking away the conifers and  replacing them  with a fruit orchard  for their delicate spring blossom and delicious fruit,  raised vegetable beds were made and a pretty glasshouse installed.

 A timber post and rail fence was added to identify the boundary  between front and rear garden

On the flood plain close by the existing wood and pond, Cornus alba were planted adding yellows, greens and reds with their coloured stems. Hydrangea were tucked in amongst the woodland edges for late summer blossom.

Angela had designed two very different gardens for us, one a very pretty contained cottage garden and our current much larger garden which descends to a river and across to indigenous woodland. It has been fun and inspiring to work with Angela. She has listened, been flexible and has given us loads of ideas in terms of design layout and specific planting schemes. We feel that in both gardens we have achieved practical, manageable results with lots of variety, colour and interest.

She has also done maintenance for us for the past 9 years – through this we continue to learn from her and the garden continues to evolve


Jonathon and Iona Turner, Wonersh, Surrey