This project presented an excitingly blank canvas. An ancient barn undergoing a sensitive conversion, it is set within gently rolling countryside not far from Bury St Edmunds. When I first visited, the barn was still surrounded by the redundant buildings and concrete paving of the former farmyard.

My clients, a sprightly, semi-retired couple, requested a simple and elegant, fairly low maintenance garden suitable for entertaining family and friends, without any dramatic changes of level and with plenty of space for parking the numerous vehicles which come and go every day. They wished to be able to enjoy views out across the garden in the winter and to do a limited amount of gardening in the summer.

I proposed a number of alternative treatments and we quickly decided on a relatively informal design based on harmonious, flowing curves. Natural sandstone paving in varying sizes laid randomly provides a smooth, durable and attractive surface around much of the property and the generous lawn areas and wrap-around borders are edged in reproduction paving bricks which harmonise with the brickwork of the building. The brick lawn edging functions as a mowing strip and the curved shape of the lawns makes maintenance on a ride-on mower easy and efficient. The larger areas of paving, at the front of the property and in a courtyard area at the rear (not shown here), are situated in sheltered, sunny areas of the garden. A fence along the boundary contains the family’s dogs, and has been planted with a native Hornbeam hedge to provide a suitably natural-looking windbreak. The skilled contractors I recommended to carry out the work were able to grade the undulating plot so that it is possible to negotiate the garden without using any steps.

The borders, planted in late 2015, contain a robust and fragrant selection of small shrubs, roses, perennials and herbs, as well as ornamental grasses and the planting was carefully considered in order to ensure that the stunning countryside views all around were not interrupted. The maintenance schedule I provided will help my clients to keep the garden looking good as it matures.


Country Garden Before 1 Country Garden Before 2 Country Garden Before 3 Country Garden Before 4


Country Garden During 1 Country Garden During  2 Country Garden During  3 Country Garden During 4


Country Garden After 1 Country Garden After 2 Country Garden After 3 Country Garden After 4