From the drawing board: A garden for a barn conversion near Llanishen

2 Written by Lisa on 11th Sep 2018 in From the drawing board

Last year I worked with a couple near Llanishen in Monmouthshire to redevelop the garden areas around their beautiful barn conversion.  What sparked their initial call to me was that they’d ordered a hot tub and then didn’t really know where it should be located.

Hot tubs can be a challenge to incorporate into any garden because they’re not particularly pretty and for this open rural site, we wanted it to blend in somehow with the surroundings.

The first thing to do was to think about sinking it into the ground.  You can just see it in the above photograph, but now that the planting has filled out it’s really not that noticeable anymore.

The garden before it was redesigned, looked like this…

It was really just like a field, without any sense of garden about it at all.  This is the same view now…

Quite a difference isn’t it?

This area of the garden incorporates an outdoor kitchen area, space to sit and eat, more comfortable seating for relaxation and it also incorporates the hot tub and a fire pit area for cooler nights.

What I was keen to do was to connect the garden back to the main house which, the stone walls and terracing really help to do.  The soft planting gives it a less formal feel which I think was really important given the rural setting.

This is phase one of the project and there are plans for a kitchen garden and wildflower meadow area further out into the garden, but what this space has done is to inspire my clients, David and Sarah, to spend more time outside.

The tall planting gives them some privacy when they’re sitting out, but it doesn’t block out any of the light, neither does it feel enclosed and penned in.

There is also a courtyard area at the side of the building which we kept really simple with a Mediterranean feel.  Two gorgeous olive trees give the space height and interest all year round and there’s a small bistro table and chairs for breakfast outside in the sunshine.

The other area that’s in progress at the moment is the large courtyard at the back of the house, which used to be the farm courtyard area.  The use of cobbles and planting help to connect the back door to the main garden area whilst still allowing it to be a practical space for parking etc.  I don’t have any photos of that yet, but I’ll be sure to share them when I do.

I’m so happy with the way the garden has all come together and I can’t wait to see it all finished, even if that does take a couple of years to complete.

Rural gardens can be tricky to get right because they have to sit comfortably within the wider landscape (as do all gardens of course).  The key here is the use of local stone to tie everything back to the house, and choosing plants that have a less formal feel to them.


Getting creative with garden wall cladding

0 Written by Lisa on 30th Jul 2018 in Design Tips, Inspiration

I’m working on the detail for a project near Cardiff at the moment and we’re looking at different wall cladding which will enhance the garden and help to zone each area. Read more

Sunsets in South Wales

0 Written by Lisa on 5th Jul 2018 in Inspiration

I was supposed to be planting last week at one of my local projects but the ground is so hard and dry, and the weather so hot, that we have postponed it until we’ve had some rain.  Amazingly we haven’t had a drop here for over 3 weeks.  Even the promised thunder storm seemed to miss us last weekend. Read more

From the drawing board – a new front garden near Monmouth

0 Written by Lisa on 19th Jun 2018 in From the drawing board

I’ve recently been working with a couple near Monmouth who want to make better sense of their front garden.  As with many sites around this area, the garden slopes steeply so I’ve tried to make better sense of the levels to facilitate a much more elegant route to the house and to make it more inviting. Read more

The importance of good bed prep

0 Written by Lisa on 8th Jun 2018 in Design Tips, Plants

If there’s one thing that gets me going it’s when I arrive at site to carry out the planting and I have to pick up a fork because the beds aren’t prepared properly. Read more

Introducing Iron Fire

0 Written by Lisa on 1st May 2018 in Garden accessories, Inspiration

I’ve recently been introduced to Iron Fire, a Wiltshire-based company who use an ancient Japanese technique for preserving wood called Shou Sugi-ban. Read more

From the drawing board – Cheshire garden under construction

0 Written by Lisa on 23rd Mar 2018 in From the drawing board

I’m very excited to be able to share some pictures of my Cheshire project which is well into the construction phase.  You may remember me sharing the design with you some time ago but, if not, here’s a reminder… Read more

How to budget for your new garden

2 Written by Lisa on 23rd Feb 2018 in Design Tips

Working to budgets is part of what I do, but it’s not always easy when there are so many choices available and if make tweaks along the way.  We’re undertaking a small building project at home and it’s exhausting making decisions, even though we’re doing some of it ourselves and therefore don’t have any time pressures. Read more

From the drawing board: A walled garden near Bridgend

0 Written by Lisa on 18th Jan 2018 in From the drawing board

I’ve recently been working with a client in Laleston, near Bridgend.  The house is really old and they’ve spent some time since they brought it a couple of years ago, lovingly restoring it. Read more

Winter berries

2 Written by Lisa on 15th Dec 2017 in Design Tips, Plants

I don’t know about you, but I love foraging for foliage at this time of year.  I’m lucky now that we have holly and ivy in the garden, the hedgerows are full of hazel and the woodland up the hill has an abundance of pine cones.  Now that the snow has disappeared, I’ll be cutting some holly at the weekend for Christmas decorations. Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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