May 3, 2020 - POSTED BY Monique Halloran - Gardeners Choice

One of the transformations I designed in this beautiful 8 acre garden in Old Boars Hill, Oxford. Read on to see the before and after photos. 


This collage of photos shows the total transformation of this large country garden set in Old Boar’s Hill, Oxford, which I had the pleasure of designing several years ago. The beautiful house looked out over the garden which sloped gently down, creating the perfect setting to lead the visitor down some steps, through a path lined with pleached trees, into a sunken garden and down again to enjoy a large, natural lake that we installed.  The garden design also included a wild flower meadow, a tennis court, a swimming pool, a rose and herb garden, an orchard and a bluebell woodland. 

This photo shows the existing garden and the newly designed garden as viewed from the house itself.  The topiary birds were created to match an engraving above the doors of the house and mark the start of the garden journey.

When I first arrived the area which is now a reflective natural lake was just a large patch of rough grass surrounded by some Rhododendrons.   Behind the lake the client asked for a quietly peaceful spot for meditation and so I designed a small pond just below the lake with a Zen sculpture overlooking it.  The large lake itself has sloping sides so the natural wildlife can safely come and go.

This photo is an example of how some existing borders were changed.  Here I designed a planting border that was a Rainbow Border.  Starting with the bright reds and oranges and then slowly changing the planting colours to echo a rainbow.

This beautiful Herb and Rose Garden was a small courtyard area leading to the side entrance and straight into the kitchen.  The shape of the Herb and Rose Garden was designed to echo the shape of the stunning windows in the Orangery. Not only did it look lovely but as you walked through into the kitchen, the smell was wonderful too. Photo 6 is a photo of the more formal sunken terrace in full bloom, looking back towards the house. The planting palette here is lavender, blue, pink and white, a traditional English country garden palette. 

No large country garden is complete without a wild flower area, and this wild flower meadow separates the main part of the garden from the swimming pool and the tennis court.  A great way to encourage natural wildlife and so enjoyable to meander through!