A Four Season Sanctuary

Get Started Gardens

A garden to be enjoyed by humans and wildlife alike, this four-season sanctuary combines striking modern design with traditional materials and naturalistic planting to be enjoyed year-round.

Swathes of meadow grasses soften geometric lines, while bold specimen trees and native hedging bring a sense of scale to this otherwise intimate space. Biodiversity is central to the design, which creates enticing habitats for creatures large and small.

The garden is a place to be together or contemplate alone. A place to feel connected to the essential elements of life; rich earth, natural water, a warming fire and a breath of clear air.

At a glance:

Who is this garden for? 
Living in a period property in the centre of a thriving residential suburb, the couple in their mid-fifties wish to create a feeling of both intimacy and space in their small courtyard garden.
Where is the garden set?  
Edwardian townhouse in a residential Cambridge suburb.
Who or what is the design inspiration?
An exploration of how modern design concepts can be integrated with soft naturalistic planting and materials to create a garden that is aesthetically striking, low maintenance and highly sustainable.

Key sustainability points

  • Trees and hedges have been field grown in the UK. Large timber structures are constructed from recycled timbers while smaller features are formed from exclusively wind-blown trees.
  • Where concrete would traditionally support structures such as fence posts, rammed earth is used. All sub bases are constructed from permeable materials, allowing water to return naturally to the water table.
  • Hedging, which provides crucial nesting habitat for birds and supports a vast array of wildlife, has been included in the design. Where typically walls may have been used, this represents a cheaper and more sustainable approach to separating areas of the garden.
  • Including even a very modest element of water into a garden, such as the small wildlife pond, is a lifeline for many wild species including birdlife.

Relocation and repurpose

The garden will be relocated to the grounds of MENCAP charity headquarters in Watford, a UK charity that supports people with learning difficulties and their families to live happy, healthy lives.

All Show Gardens

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.