This generously proportioned family home with views of Walton Back Waters sits in two acres of grounds. It is (quite rightly) our clients’ pride and joy.
The gardens are a joy. Large lawns are surrounded by hedges and there is a good variety of mature trees on the site. It’s a wildlife haven that is easy to manage.
However, an existing pond restricted the parking space beside the house. The area around the pond was boggy and the existing deck was slippery and dangerous. The clients felt that this rather tired feature was ready for an upgrade and asked Tapestry Design Studios for some help.
Wildlife interest was a prime consideration. That and a bit more parking space, an attractive view from the floor to ceiling windows. Our clients also asked for a lovely sheltered area nearby where they could place a bench and enjoy sitting by the water.
Although it feels wonderful to have such a large garden to work with, deciding where to site the pond and how to blend it into the impressive grounds took a bit of thinking about. However, the main challenge was dealing with the drainage issues in the area.
An unusually high water table meant that the pond was in danger of hippoing. Hippoing is a phenomenon where groundwater sneaks underneath the pond liner and pushes it up creating a visible mound of liner in the water. It looks just as though there is a hippo living in the garden. Our clients asked for wildlife – but nothing quite that exotic!
Runoff from the larger parking space was to be directed to a new soakaway at the edge of the pond so from a technical point of view, water management was the most important part of the design.
The clients specifically asked for clear water in the pond and so some sort of filtration system would be needed alongside the sump and pump to control the hippoing.
Once the technical challenges were met the planting design was a joy. Having such a beautiful backdrop to work with meant that the borrowed views were sublime. It’s a lovely house too which lent itself to a natural, informal style pond.
Garden Designer Katie really enjoys designing wildlife areas and couldn’t wait to start work on this project.
The pond has been positioned in full view of the picture window and blend seamlessly with the lawns and trees beyond. A gently curving shape with softly sloping sides makes it look as though it has always been there.
Katie used pebbles to create a small “beach”. Not only is this a great look, it invites people to walk down to the waterside to investigate the plants and creatures within. More importantly though, it’s an easy way in and out of the water for frogs, toads, newts and insects. As well as the birds and mammals who come to the pond to drink.
Planting included marginal plants such as Iris, these provide hiding places and perches for wildlife and visually “soften” the edges of the pond. Beside the waterline, low maintenance grasses and dense groundcover were introduced to keep weeds under control.
The garden was built by Holland Landscapes of Colchester who have written an online article about the methods they used. Read it here.
“Following our recent property renovations we wanted to move from the completed inside works to remodelling both our drive and an existing pond which had become in a poor state of repair and did not fit will with the external design of the property. We contacted Tapestry Design Studios late last year to design a new approach for our house involving the re-siting of a pond to allow more space for parking. We were most impressed with the work Kate has done for us and the service we’ve received. Kate produced designs which fully met our brief and utilised existing sculptures, trees and our local scenic views to the full and was attentive in the delivery of a great solution for our front garden. I would recommend Tapestry Design Studios to anyone looking for professional and creative input to their garden.
Dave and Christine