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Epsom Secret Garden 


A design for a garden in Epsom to inspire exploration and to be cocooned in a green oasis.

This garden is inspired by the concept of a ‘Secret Garden’, a space to be discovered bit by bit, with playful routes linking the different ‘rooms’. The hardscape is interwoven with planting, through the use of stepping stones, planting pockets and climbers, all of which softens the hardscape and creates an immersive green oasis. It also gives the impression of nature reclaiming the space, all be it in a controlled way.

Trees are key to creating a sense of seclusion, with evergreen single stems on the right hand side providing screening all the way up to the terrace. This repetition contrasts to the more randomly spaced multi-stem trees, which culminate in a ‘glade’ at the bottom of the garden. Here, the trees provide dappled shade on a sunny afternoon, and a place to spend the evening by the fire.

The planting has a natural woodland feel with Cow Parsley, ferns and grasses combined with colourful geraniums. Soft, naturalistic texture is juxtaposed with a trio of low clipped evergreen shrubs which provide structure and winter-interest. The multi-stem trees have been chosen to provide blossom and berries for insects and birds, as well as providing visual interest across the seasons.

Raised corten beds make the most of a particularly sunny spot in the garden and provide space to grow edibles. The strips of corten are then repeated in the steps and walls of the terrace creating a visual link between the two. Horizontal lines are also repeated in the plank pavers of the stepping stones and lawn strips and act as a counterpoint to the random stepping stone pattern.

The hard materials of sandstone, corten and clay bricks have been chosen for their ability to develop a patina over time, and are used alongside gravel where a permeable ‘lighter touch’ hardscape can be used.

Creating a sense of privacy

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