This garden is for a new house in the North Downs by McLean Quinlan Architects. The aim was to use local materials and labour to settle the house into the existing landscape. We began work two years before the builders arrived, opening views by thinning woodland, planting new stands of trees, and laying in planted boundaries. By the time the building was complete, the landscape was semi-mature.
The house, envisaged as a permeable screen running east-west across the site, is approached over a meadow lying under fruit and nut trees. Access is via a series of courts, framed by ragstone walls and oak fencing and with a reflecting pool. Beyond, a view opens across a restored pond, before the land drops away through woods and across a dry valley. All the materials that we used were local - oak, plant stock, ragstone cobbles, ragcrete (formed of ragstone). In re-forming the land we used all the spoil created by building works. Photos Jim Stevenson and FFLO