Four Seasons

This luscious garden was created by IL NATURE on estate ground in Surrey, England. From the gates, a graceful alley of columnar pedunculated Fastigiata Koster oak trees frames the driveway leading up to the house. On the right hand, there are two accent plants: a weeping deodar and a Higan cherry. On the left side, magnolia trees screen the windows of the main building’s study from the road. Sphere-shaped boxwoods are planted in major groups along the main facade. Mountain pines come down the slope edged by a retaining wall, ornamented with a lush flower garden and climbing hydrangeas.
The terrace is paved with custom-made slabs of limestone, laid in a traditional, Roman-inspired pattern. Planters with palm trees are placed along the wall of this side of the house. Lily ‘Betty’ magnolias, well renowned for their amazing flowers, are planted along the terrace’s lateral axis together with rhododendrons and hydrangeas. A line of espalier-shaped pear trees borders the other side of the terrace. Above it all tower Atlantic cedars, shading the terrace and blocking it from view of the neighbouring property. This is a truly quiet, private and personal space for the inhabitants and their guests. A formal parterre garden adjoins the terrace. Here, mushroom-shaped yews surrounded by David Austin roses adorn the centres of symmetrical bouquets of boxwoods. Behind the parterre, the extended garden slopes away in terraced levels, paying discreet homage to the traditional Italian gardens, which have inspired parts of it.
At the end of the slope attention is attracted by the extraordinary beauty of the existing pine with a naturally umbrella-shaped crown. Staircases are framed on both sides with groups of junipers and rhododendrons lined with groundcover roses and trailing cotoneaster. Purple Japanese maples are added as bright accents giving the garden a characteristic Asian touch. Downslope on the second terrace there’re weeping wide-branching cedars. Another source of inspiration can be seen as you move away from the house, down the staircases framed on both sides by groups of junipers and rhododendrons lined with groundcover roses and trailing cotoneaster. Here you also find purple Japanese maples spread as bright accents amongst the other plants, while also giving the garden a characteristic Asian feel. At the end of the plot lies a round, open area. Along its edges are drop-shaped plantings of viburnum "Mariesii", several varieties of evergreen moisture-loving Japanese Pieris, bald cypress, Kousa dogwood, mountain and cork pines, a Japanese pagoda tree with distinctive bright yellow shoots contrasting the dark needles of Thaja trees and white, pink and lavender rhododendrons. Here the well-cut, traditional English grass lawn becomes a calm centre in a whirling pool of colours and shapes. The trees and bushes have also been selected because of the way they naturally “pass the baton” of flowering from one to the next throughout the spring and summer. Behind the other trees, right at the bottom of the slope stand a series of beautiful, existing pine trees with naturally umbrella-shaped crowns, demarking the outer border of the grounds. Back between the house and garage lies a small potager with raised wattle beds. In the middle stands a miniature olive, surrounded on all sides by espaliers entwined with vine. This garden is has an eclectic, unique feel, and combines the classic features of English landscape parks with the rigid symmetry of French parterres with the location on a terraced slope adding an Italian touch. The many conifers planted throughout most of the garden support the existing pines and thujas. Yews, junipers, cedars and evergreen foliage plants such as rhododendrons, boxwoods, David and hybrid "Pragense" viburnum, Japanese pieris and laurel cherry ensure that the garden remains green and vibrant throughout the winter.