Thursday, 27 June 2013

Garden design: a mill house garden in Oxfordshire

An interesting thing happened yesterday. I was uploading these photos from my files, of a garden that belongs to an 18th-century mill house by the River Cherwell in Oxfordshire, when A came home from work. He had grabbed the latest copy of House & Garden (July 2013) and I'm not kidding, this same garden is featured in the magazine and there is a short interview with the garden designer, Arne Maynard.

From the feature I learned that Maynard published a book back in 2004, A Sense of Place: How to Create a Garden with Atmosphere, which immediately found its way to my wish list.

It says in the article that the house is 'sandwiched between the River Cherwell and the South Oxford Canal on a finger of land that is almost an island' (p. 102). (In the magazine I was able to view different angles of the garden and the house itself.)

When Maynard arrived on the scene the garden was overgrown with 'dozens of unpollarded willows and everything [was] covered in ivy.' The garden was in desperate need of breathing space so they started with clearing everything except the beautiful 'New Dawn' and 'Albertine' roses that you can see climbing on the façade of the house.

Close to the house things are kept formal but at its edges the garden looks more natural. There is a herbaceous garden filled with many colourful plants and they also created a parterre that has yew pyramids and box hedges at its borders.

Don't get me started on all that lavender!

In the article, there is a quote from Maynard's book:
A successful garden must relate and respond to the surrounding landscape and its history as well as to the style of the building, to give it a proper sense of belonging.
I think it is safe to say that this garden philosophy is clearly visible in this gorgeous - yet somehow simple - garden.


  1. Beautiful,how homesick for England this makes me.
    Wonderful to have found the magazine feature and on the same day!
    Have a lovely weekend:)

  2. This looks like one of those romantic gardens from a Victorian novel. And looks like you were spot on;-) happy weekend my friend!

  3. I like the shot with the back of the house. The bridge and the stream make it look even more charming. I can almost smell the roses and lavender. What a dreamy garden!

  4. Hi Lisa, Beautiful lavender! ..just scrolling through some of your recent blog posts. So many gorgeous photos. Your hydrangea photos are so pretty and the French blue are my favorite. Mine are just about to bloom!


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