Large Windsor Garden Design
A large, family garden for an historic house in Windsor, Berkshire
The young couple who bought this beautiful, historic house in Windsor, Berkshire loved its character, but wanted the garden to function better for outdoor entertaining. The design needed to accommodate the needs of young children and also allow the clients to relax in privacy from their busy lives and also host fabulous parties for friends and family. The aim was to create a garden with a Mediterranean flavour, with one large entertaining space with a pool, dining and lounging areas, and other more intimate areas for sitting and eating, plus a large vegetable garden.
The garden design explained
The final design includes a large entertaining terrace featuring a 6m x 12m naturally filtered pool, an outdoor shower, a sunken chill out area with built-in day beds and a bespoke steel pergola, a further built-in bench seating and dining area, and an outdoor kitchen with large log-burning fireplace. There is a large lawn, screened with a curved raised planter, to accommodate children’s play equipment. A side courtyard with a raised pond offers privacy and a more intimate seating area. To the rear of the house is a vegetable garden with a greenhouse, and raised timber beds.
In such a flat, open space it was important to create rooms, but without blocking the views of the garden from the house. This was achieved by adding height to the garden in the form of a pergola, raised beds on the pool terrace and to divide the lawn from the pool area, and a 2m high curved wall that encloses the pool terrace where it borders the main road and neighbouring properties. Mature plants were also included to provide height and interest, and to increase the privacy particularly on the pool terrace.
The design comprises a series of related circles that give the garden cohesion and a sense of gentle movement around the garden. A perimeter path of self-binding gravel allows dry passage around the garden, so that the garden can be enjoyed by children and adults all year round. The circular design is echoed in the side courtyard paving with a central circle of plank paving, separated from the surrounding 600mm x 900mm paving with a narrow band of 100mm x 100mm setts.
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The garden design creates dynamism and movement using a series of concentric circles that related the garden back to the pool terrace. In a large, flat garden it's important to provide interest and separate spaces each with its own purpose and character, this breaks up the garden, but still providing a cohesive feel. Paths connect the various areas to encourage exploration and ensure the whole garden can be used and maintained.
There are many different seating areas around the garden including the main pool terrace which has poolside seating, built-in bench seating, a sunken area with day beds and a fireplace. There is also a more secluded side courtyard area with a small water cistern with foaming heads to create a distraction from the traffic noise on the nearby main road.
Outdoor cooking and entertaining
The garden was designed to enable outdoor living for as much of the year as possible. A heated, chemical-free swimming pool allows year-round swimming. A large outdoor kitchen provides full cooking facilities with a sink, refrigerator, barbeque and large, log-burning fireplace as it's centrepiece. There are many different seating a dining options on the main pool terrace, allowing for large parties to be catered for.
A space for children
The children have a large, lawned area that houses their play equipment and where they can run around within earshot of adults. The kids area is separated from the pool terrace by a curved, raised border that houses some more exotic, but hardy plant species such as palms and bananas.