Studio Cullis has been appointed to develop a series of garden spaces for a Grade II listed townhouse located within the St John's Wood Conservation Area in City of Westminster. Sketching early on in the design process allows us to test and develop ideas on the drawing board before further development and refinment.
A site visit to our SW3 garden to review concrete setting out and retaining wall levels. The original garden level has been lowered to meet the new internal finished level. The existing high walls will help make this an intimate garden for a couple to enjoy the afternoon sun this space will receive. An impression of the proposed space is shown here.
South London Garden Progress
Following the unusually wet weather before Christmas, which resulted in numerous delays to the project, we are back on track and hope to hand over the garden in the next few weeks. Planting, which had been scheduled for November, was partially completed before Christmas with setting out under this tree one of the final tasks to complete. The tree, one of two 'kissing' multistems adjacent to the limestone terrace provide light shade in the afternoon sun. They also serve to screen the terrace and living space from a block of flats overlooking the garden to the rear. The rest of this family garden is reached by walking under the tree canopies via paths on either side.
Butterfly House Garden Concept
Our concept for a large country garden surrounding a mid-century modern house has been approved and is now moving into detailed design. The house sits within the grounds of a former quarry. The land has been 'scooped' out so that much of the perimeter is banked with high sides. The proposal seeks to link the house, which has been built into the perimeter slope, to the wider garden by introducing a series of floating steps to connect a new sun terrace on the first floor, to the formal and level garden below. A new Birch woodland will be planted in the low area of the site, with walkways connecting to the formal lawn. A remodelled driveway retains a magnificent Pine tree close to the house, and divides the formal lawn with grass parterre, from the wider garden containing a wildflower meadow. A number of existing mature trees on the sloped perimeter are connected by a series of organic shaped planting beds.
South London Garden Commences
Our project in a conservation area in South London, is now under construction. Here we are earlier in the year analysing the soil type, quality and percolation rates to help determine our plant palette and groundworks design for a proposed London garden. Part of the planning requirements are to improve the green wildlife corridor to the rear of the garden so we are planting a variety of flowering trees and shrubs to connect to the neighbouring gardens.
Suffolk Barns Concept
Our concept for a communal courtyard in rural Suffolk has been approved and is now going into development. The layout is defined by scultptural clipped forms in loose gravel, shaped around characterful trees creating a simple graphic against the converted barns. A restrained palette of hard materials will be used to denote private and communal areas.
Le Jardin Plume Studio Visit
A studio tour of a modern garden in Normandy, France. The garden has been laid out on a series of grids filled with naturalist planting and wildflowers, helping to anchor the garden to its countryside setting. Clipped hedges and an orchard provide structure and repetition to this beautiful garden.
Rousham Gardens Studio Visit
A studio visit to the renowned gardens of Rousham House in Oxfordshire, largely unchanged since they were laid out in the 18th century by William Kent (1685-1748). A series of beautiful and serene spaces that offers so much inspiration. The routes through the woodland weave through lush mature forest where majestic oak, beech and lime trees are underplanted with neatly clipped laurel. The route opens regularly into glades with elegant water features and grand follies. Framed views along the way offer glimpses of what's to come with fine sculptures set into the foreground of vistas of the countryside beyond.
The kitchen gardens offer a nostalgic picture of the English border with rambling roses and foxgloves popping up apparently where they've seeded. There is wonderful romance to this part of the garden which is managed beautifully with wide beds of perennial planting interspersed with classic evergreen structure.
Muswell Hill Garden Commences
As a Magnolia and Cherry Plum tree come into bloom, and after more than a year of delays, our project in Muswell Hill has finally started with the delivery of structural plants. Three new character trees to compliment these existing flowering trees, and Yew hedging will be used to frame views from the house and from a rear garden studio.
Barnes Garden Plant Selection
A project that has been a long time in the making, the star tree was selected early in 2018 for a garden in South West London and has been cared for by the nursery for the best part of a year. A sculptural Amelanchier lamarckii will be positioned within a garden of evergreen hedges and topiary shapes which arrive on site ready for installation.
Chatsworth House Garden Visit
A studio visit to the wonderful Chatsworth House and Gardens. Meandering through the extensive gardens it is a joy to discover such a varied series of spaces all with their own character and scale. The extraordinary Paxton rockery currently being transformed by Tom Stuart-Smith with new plantings over the next 4 years was a particular highlight.
Hertfordshire Garden Plant Delivery
An exciting period in the project when, over a series of deliveries, plants that have been carefully chosen for the project arrive on site and the team get to work to manoeuvre them into position. These plants will form the backbone of the various garden spaces, including a beautiful Chinese dogwood, a number of Juneberries and a series of old apple trees rescued from an orchard which arrive on handmade timber supports from a nursery.
Barnes Garden Concept
This front garden creates the setting for a Edwardian house. Consideration to the heritage of the building and original layout of the space was key. Subtle features bring this garden up to date whilst maintaining a classic elegance.
A large sculptural flowering tree acts as the gardens centerpiece, positioned just out of alignment with the symmetry of the building facade, to create interest and avoid the garden feeling overly formal or structured. This tree sits in a bed of low evergreen grasses interspersed with seasonal flowering species.
A low cloud hedge runs in front of the bay window providing year round structure and visual interest. A light grey Yorkstone has been selected for areas of hard landscape to compliment the proposed traditional black and white chequered path.
Beth Chatto Garden Visit
Always a treat to visit The Beth Chatto Gardens, a series of incredible spaces near Elmstead Market in Essex. We anticipated a sombre visit, our first since her death in May, but instead were buoyed as we enjoyed her wonderful gardens, by thoughts of what an earnest and inspirational plants-person she was and what an impact she had on the horticultural world.
The dry garden, pictured here, featured an affecting colour palette and interesting combinations and groupings. A great trip for research, inspiration, and reflection.
Twickenham Garden Early Stages
Our new project in Twickenham. Our aim: to provide a beautiful family garden for our client, addressing the problem of being overlooked by neighbours, and providing a space in which to entertain.
There is beauty in this garden already, which we would like to draw out – the rear wall has character and an existing mature wisteria will be a beautiful feature. Looking forward to developing the design for this space!
Hertfordshire Garden Early Stages
Introducing our exciting new project in Hertfordshire. A complex site with a very steep gradient, and challenging soil conditions formed from glacial deposits of flint and chalk which have been exposed after the topsoil was striped from the plot when the house was built. This necessitated the need for importing a large volume of topsoil whilst also using a cut and fill exercise to retain and reclaim as much as the on site topsoil as possible.
Netherlands Nursery Visit
A studio visit to a tree nursery in The Netherlands, we were looking for specific feature trees for several different gardens, whilst also getting an idea of the available and upcoming stock for future projects. We were looking in particular for good form and characterful specimen. The requirements we were looking to fit were for different scales of garden with varying requirements for spread, shape and density of the canopy. It was lovely to see a great range of trees ready for lifting, as well as some handsome mature hedge stock for partitioning space and forming boundaries.