Sandra McMahon, Armadale

2 Tower Crt. Armadale (2018)

Open Date
17-18 Nov. 2018
Garden Entry

Note: This garden was opened in 2018

The Owners of this garden decided to downsize about six years ago. They are knowledgeable gardeners and had previously enjoyed a large and interesting garden not far from here.

Downsizing inevitably presents both challenges and advantages. In the case of this garden, it remained a high priority to have a garden which could provide all the therapeutic attributes of a larger garden: carefully designed structure, plenty of plant interest, enticing views from all interior rooms, and manageability from a maintenance point of view.

The dwelling underwent a thorough refurbishment and it was agreed that the existing garden was tired and degraded, and in need of total replacement. The current garden was designed and implemented in 2013.

Connected garden ‘rooms’

Keen travellers, the owners were particularly attracted to the gardens of the South of France. The resulting design is a connected series of beautiful and stylish garden ‘rooms’, each one a courtyard visible from a different room in the house, and each with elements of French design.­­ Rooms along the northern, western and southern sides of the townhouse all open onto the garden.

Design of these small courtyards necessitated an expert understanding both of space and of how plants perform in small spaces.

In small spaces it is also important that all aspects of hard landscaping – stone paving, stone-walling and water features – are both proportional to the space and executed to the highest standard.

The garden is entered via a small courtyard at the front door. Sawn limestone paving combined with hand-laid pebble work announces this area as the entry. To the left is a small and private rose garden courtyard, whilst to the right is a series of small courtyards: the Fragrant Courtyard, Dining Courtyard, Pond Courtyard and finally a small produce area.  Each of these courtyards is accessed via French doors from the house.

Despite the proximity of the house to outer boundary walls, careful manipulation of space and transition between the courtyards has lent the garden a feeling of spaciousness, with elements of surprise and quiet corners, and yet with the capacity to function as a place of entertainment.

The success of this garden is in no small part a tribute to the ongoing dedication and care of the owners. A very happy collaboration!