Before and After Gardens - How Garden Design can Transform your Home!

Jan 8, 2019 - POSTED BY Monique Halloran - Gardeners Choice

When you say you are in the middle of a refurbishment or a new build, the first thing that most people think of is the building and the interior, picturing what it will look like.  Gardens though can play such an important part in the whole picture of an amazing refurbishment, quite transforming the house itself.  Here are some photos of before and after gardens showing the important role the landscape plays in completing the whole design of a home.  In the first photo you can see the site that I came to, where an old cottage was taken down to be replaced with a stunning, new, ‘Georgian’ mansion, which had an ultra-modern, fully glazed conservatory exension.  The wonderful owners saw the importance of the garden, which would become so much part of the kitchen conservatory, and in the second photo you can see a collage of the garden we designed pictured only 18 months after the first photo was taken!

The next three photos show a beautiful house on the outskirts of Oxford set in over an acre of land. The design specification was to have plenty of room for entertaining and relaxing, a central water feature and lots of year round interest in the planting. The overall garden design included many different ‘garden rooms’ and in the next three photos there is the ‘before’ garden and then two photos of the ‘after’ garden showing quite different ‘garden rooms’.  At the rear of the house there is a large main patio with a stunning central water feature, and several different areas to sit in, or sun bathe in.  The water feature was  inspired by the beautiful gardens of the Alhambra in Spain.  Then there is a photo of the quiet ‘garden of reflection’, set outside the reading and music room of the house. If you have the space in your garden, it is fun to create quite different ambiences in your garden. 

Just in case you think that only large gardens are worth designing, the next three photos show the transformation of a town garden and the importance it played in the refurbishment of this lovely Victorian house.  There needed to be two aspects to this garden.  There was the view from the upper levels of the house and the design of a small family garden on the higher level of the garden, and then there was the patio or the ‘kitchen garden room’, which created the view from the kitchen/family room.  This is the first time I specified an artificial lawn and it looked good as it was in an urban setting, and it meant the busy family had no need to mow!

Now look at this ‘before’ photo which is taken from the rear of a stunning mansion set in Old Boars Hill, Oxford, which has the enviable position of having the garden fall away from the house, as the house is built in an elevated position. 

And then see the transformation of that same view, as the eye is drawn through the two rows of pleached trees, and rests for a moment on the sunken garden with its central water feature, before your eye travels on to the magnificent lake that was part of the landscape design, and which was surrounded by flowering Rhodedendrons and trees.  Why are there topiarised birds on the upper level of the back garden, where you step out into the garden from the house?  Above the doors, and carved into the house, were two beautiful birds, so I echoed this in the design of the garden.  This was an 8 acre garden and this view from the back doors was just one of the magnificent views that the family enjoyed. Another view was of the herb and rose garden which echoed exactly the shape of the orangery windows.  See the last photo.  Gardens, in my view, make a house a home!