This property is built at the bottom of a significant slope and when we first went to look at it the existing landscaping had created dark, claustrophobic spaces close to the building. A series of new sinuous terraces, which refer to local contour lines, now retain the land behind the buildings and create more generous and usable spaces directly accessed from the house. Some of the contoured terraces are laid to grass, providing access to the upper levels of the site, while others are planted profusely with ornamental perennials.
The south-facing pool terrace to the east of the property forms the hub of the garden and has been designed for inside/outside living with an internal swimming pool connecting visually with an external pond. Large stepping stones lead across the water from the pool house, to the terrace where multi-stemmed trees in the paving create focal points for relaxing and eating.
The majority of the ornamental garden lies beyond this terrace in an exotically planted front garden and play lawn, while a newly planted woodland garden and new orchard at the rear of the property make links to the surrounding pastureland.
On the other side of the property the terracing forms an amphitheatre looking down on the house and herb garden, where a new greenhouse, will provide forced fruit and vegetables for the family throughout the year.
One of the main challenges of this site is that the sense of place is influenced both by Guernsey’s specific maritime microclimate and the surrounding pastoral farmland, so we ensured that, whilst the planting made the most of the mild climate, it was also integrated into the local landscape. The stonework on Guernsey is particular to the island and we have used local stone workers and stone for all of the hard landscaping.
Images © Nicola Browne
2003 - ongoing