EXTRACTS FROM THE BOOK
We had the pleasure of working on a traditional white-boarded house in New England, which despite appearances was a new-build. The American owners had lived in England for some time and wanted to recreate an English-style garden in the US. They were introduced to Randle through designer Paolo Moschino of Nicholas Haslam Ltd.
Situated deep in a valley and surrounded by protected woodland, it is in an idyllic spot. However, the house did not sit well within its location originally because the developers had spent only the minimal money required on landscaping.
CHALLENGE | Access to the house is via a driveway, entered from a road high above the house. Originally, the first view of the house was of its roof – not its most attractive feature. The driveway approaches the house from the rear, so it was not clear to visitors where to stop and park. Because the land slopes, drainage was also an issue. Every time there was heavy rainfall, water would collect in big pockets on the driveway and in the garden. The woodland is habitat to deer, which are not friendly to young plants, as they love to eat green shoots. Planting was also a challenge, as the weather in New Jersey rotates from very hot summers to extremely cold winters, unlike the more moderate climate of England
VISION | Randle decided to replace the slope with a series of connecting terraces and garden rooms, each with its own character. These would include an herbaceous avenue, an area of lawn with a petanque court and an avenue of clipped hornbeam. He also saw the necessity of re-landscaping the swimming-pool area to include a more attractive pool house that would reflect the architecture of the house and conceal unsightly pool equipment. The entrance to the house needed a total rethink, as originally it had been designed around an old-fashioned island, which detracted from the house’s handsome architecture.