Farmhouse Gardens

Farmhouse Gardens is set vibrant market town of Oswestry boasts beautiful, historic architecture, with a traditional feel to many of the houses situated here. With such character to these properties, it’s difficult to balance retaining this character whilst also allowing the buildings and the landscapes around them to evolve.
Fortunately, Butler Landscapes has more than 30 years’ experience transforming gardens such as this across Shropshire and further afield. So, when it was brought on board to design and build a garden for a large residence in Oswestry, the company was able to offer the clients exactly what they were looking for. The transformation of the garden was so impressive that it scooped a BALI National Landscape Award last year in the Domestic Garden Construction – Over £250k category.
Inspiration for this project came from the surrounding landscape, says Butler Landscapes. Its main aim was to provide a series of experiences through well connected spaces that will allow a family to enjoy for many years to come. To soften the transition between character areas and also offer a naturalistic feel, the team used curves and a planting scheme that offers all year round interest to give a sense of journey and encourage the family to explore the garden. A circular sunken garden, for instance, softened with planting invites the user to relax with sweeping curved pathways to allow the user to explore other areas of the garden. Curved pathways link the property from the main patio to the Kitchen Garden, Wildflower meadows, Naturalistic Wildlife Pond at the lower area of the garden. To the frontage of the property a more formal Parterre Garden was designed to give a wow factor on arrival. Topiary offers structure while herbaceous planting brings colour and textural interest to be viewed on arrival and from the rooms within the house. Separating the Parterre Garden to the Orchard is a wall with a central entrance that frames a view down to a lawn area surrounded with hedging. This invites the user to explore the Orchard where a stopping off point has been designed with a bench area looking back at the property to admire the views.

The family who owned the property were keen for existing elements of the garden to be enhanced, due to its beauty and existing character. As part of this, an existing apple tree was brought to the fore with the addition of wildflower meadows and the winding decorative gravel paths which naturally draw attention to the lower wildlife pond area too.
To achieve a traditional look, Indian sandstone paving slabs were used in various size, with the blended colours within these highlighted by the grey, earthy brown and red colour tones of Scottish beach pebbles. Rustic coloured paving frames the paths and patios and black estate railings softly define certain spaces within the garden.
Butler Landscapes also designed the landscape to have a naturalistic feel in order for it to blend into its surroundings. For the Naturalistic Wildlife Pond, Millboard composite decking
Project Value (inclusive of VAT): Two years (January 2019 – December 2020)
Build time
approx. £350k Size of project
BALI National Landscape Award 2021, Domestic Garden Construction – Over £250k
1 Ahead Of The Curve garden from above
2 The greenhouse as part of the Kitchen Garden
3 Parterre garden from above
4 Sunken Seating Area INSPIRE
was used, which offers the look of natural timber but with the longevity of using a composite material. The pond also features semi-aquatic planting, such as Caltha palustris and Thalia dealbata, for visual interest but also to improve the water quality, control algae and encourage wildlife. Perennial wildflower mixtures were also added for longer interest throughout the year and to improve biodiversity.
Wildflower meadows have been a success due to appropriate soil preparation while also selecting a bespoke mix. Pro Annuals Cornfield Mix offers colour in the first year before the meadow mix for alkaline soil establishes in the following years, much to the client’s delight.
As with any residence of this size and character, there were a few challenges throughout the project. For example, to prevent the wildlife pond overflowing during rainier periods, a new land drain system was installed to provide improved drainage of runoff from the outlet. Butler Landscapes created the pond with a clay liner which for a domestic garden is quite unique, this gave it the natural finish having a depth of soil all the way through allowing for marginal plants to be planted direct into soil.
Creating the air raid shelter allowed a space for their son to enjoy giving full visual access over the pond to watch the wildlife. The air raid shelter, which was a steel frame lined with oak sleepers to keep out wildlife, located near the pond. To ensure this sunken area was kept clear of water, a float switched pump within a chamber underneath the Millboard decking was added.
Within the Kitchen Garden a Hartley Botanic greenhouse, raised oak planters and composting bays were used to allow the family to grow their own vegetables. The client required the Kitchen Garden to be located out of view from the property and therefore this area was designed to be located behind an existing outbuilding while in a space offering full sun for fruit and vegetable production to thrive. 59 INSPIRE

Farmhouse Gardens truly embodies its Shropshire surroundings, whilst also offering a perfect family garden and allowing wildlife to thrive through habitat creation. Furthermore, the design has given its own unique character created through sweeping curves and diverse planting scheme. It’s little wonder it’s an award winner, and no doubt the envy of Oswestry.

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