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"We have thoroughly enjoyed this project right from the beginning, we have loved what you created for us because it reflects our love for our family, house and the landscape that surrounds us. We are the lucky ones that get to see it every day and never stop noticing all the seasonal changes, and all the wildlife that it attracts."

Christine Whatley has created a garden full of light and movement within a farmland setting, fusing traditional style with modern living, for which she won the BALI Principal Design Excellence Award in 2013.


The Old Farmhouse nestles within a farm complex that has been in the family for generations, and is in a beautiful setting. The garden had become very static with large over mature shrubs and an unattractive boundary hedge separating the garden from the surrounding fields. Despite the garden's size, other than the large lawn area it did not offer much useable space - the wonky patio was so crowded with old Box and Lavender that there was no space for a table and chairs, and at the front a line of upright Yews channelled visitors directly to the door keeping the rest of the front garden separated and without purpose.

Christine was reluctant to lose the Yew "soldiers", especially with the long family history at the property with several generations remembering that they had always been there. However they created a very dictatorial route to the door which barred the way sideways. She therefore removed just 3 of the less healthy Yews to allow paths to a traditionally styled parterre garden at each side and, by adding a central circle to the path, gave the sense of greater width. The parterre is planted with a mixture of attractive herbs and other flowering plants that are awash with bees and butterflies. Two old stone pots, that had been on the brink of being disposed of, now form the centerpiece of each parterre.

In the back garden Christine needed to design a more useable terrace area. Whilst doing this, she designed a garden that takes its cues from the surrounding farmland - the lines of the crops and the gaps in the field hedges. The entire back garden is crossed with lines of hedges, planting and paving running in the same direction as the crop lines and field hedges, tying the garden and landscape together beautifully. The eye is encouraged towards views that had been previously ignored.

The boundary hedge that had formed a harsh separation from the landscape was removed. New planting near the boundaries incorporates plants that move and sway in the wind, and catch the sunlight as it lowers in the sky. The colours of the planting reflect the rich hues of harvest time, whilst seedheads left through winter provide food and habitat for wildlife.

Christine commissioned a beautiful pair of wrought iron gates and rose arch to act as focal points at the end and side of the garden, and an old stone birdbath was reused as a feature in a pleasant seating area. Inset into the terrace is an understated but elegant pond enhanced by the sound of a fountain and, as the sun sets glinting on the grasses, lighting creates a new dimension to the garden.

At the BALI National Landscape Awards 2013, the judges awarded Christine the Principal Design Excellence Award in the Under £50,000 category. They said "The design was well presented and contained a great deal of detail. The selection and quality of plants, materials and lighting are sympathetic to the style and setting and work well within the overall scheme. A very pleasing and successful design."




Christine Whatley

+44 (0)1380 830262

[email protected]

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