Sheepwash, Dorset

Surrounded by stunning countryside with views to the sea, this country cottage garden was designed as a space to improve mood and wellbeing, blending into the rural landscape and making the most of the spectacular vistas.

Inspired by the organic shapes of the surrounding fields and hedgerows, the long thin garden was split into three zones connected by a winding pathway and a curved gabion wall filled with local field stones to harmonise with the landscape beyond.  An upper terrace for seating and dining is surrounded by a low-maintenance gravel garden winding down to a formal lawn and on to a wilder, productive area at the bottom.  Facing towards the sea, rest points along the length of the garden ensure that the views can be enjoyed in each space, with the lawn designed to feel as if it is floating out towards the water.

Water features are critical to the design including a small shady grotto surrounded by textural green planting that is inspired by the Villa Lante in Italy, and a pond at the end of the garden designed to attract wildlife, improve biodiversity as well as to collect rainwater.

The planting is also chosen to attract wildlife and mixes traditional cottage-style plants including Euphorbia, Erigeron, Irises and Primular, with coastal loving grasses and plants to connect it to the landscape beyond.

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