This was the second garden design in Reigate that I created for a couple of attractive new executive homes on Park Lane in Reigate. When I completed their neighbours’ garden, these clients contacted me to ask me to take a look at their own garden, which was almost a mirror image of its neighbour, but significantly longer.
Although of a similar width to the neighbours’ garden, I came up with a completely different design for this property, making extensive use of sculptural curved yew hedges and lawns to make sense of this grown-up family space (including three grown up children). When creating a garden design in Reigate, it’s important to be aware of the three types of soil that you may encounter: chalk to the north of Reigate, sandy soil to the centre and south, and some clay in pockets in between, and to the east and west.
The soil itself is the first element that a successful garden design needs to address: in the space of half a mile or so, you might encounter any one of these very different soil types, each with their own benefits, challenges and suitable planting. A plant that thrives on sandy soil may not thrive on clay, and vice versa – the challenge on this site being that the sand is very free draining and also nutrient poor – rendering plants at risk of both thirst and hunger. This is where the eye of an experienced garden designer pays dividends in finding the right plants that address the challenges of the site.
The design features a Terrabase Rustic resin-bound path from Addagrip, and uses four Betula nigra and three Sorbus ‘Sheerwater Seedling’ trees from Barcham. Betula nigra are a beautiful, tough species of birch that cast a light dappled shade and have attractive shaggy creamy copper bark, whilst the Sorbus are a cultivar of our native rowan that bring blossom, berries, autumn colour and good branch structure to the garden – a true four-season tree.