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A listed 18th century barn was converted into a modern ecological home, winning design awards.  The garden area had
been concrete cattle-yards lying adjacent to the farm land.  The new garden needed to provide an anchor for the house
and a frontispiece to the surrounding countryside.

A ha-ha (sunken wall in a ditch) was built as an invisible boundary that preserves the full impact of the wonderful views to the old church and the Chiltern Hills in the distance.  At the same time, sheltered areas for eating and lounging were created. The garden was designed for low maintenance with much of the planting in shingle.  For a relaxed and natural look, self-seeding plants are allowed to dot themselves about.  Traditional park fencing delineates the back garden.  Reclaimed York stone slabs have been carefully laid to look as if they have always been there, even though the garden was created  6 months earlier.  Thymes, sages and catmint soften the hard landscaping and attract butterflies.

The terrace is located in a sunny, south-west facing corner and is sheltered by a new wychert-style wall which is typical of the local area.  This high wall provides complete privacy from an adjacent converted farm building and climbing roses will soon cover it.  Beyond the terrace and borders, an orchard of fruit trees is underplanted with a wild flower meadow.  The meadow is in flower from spring until late summer when it is cut and collected for hay.

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