What the judges said: "A bold design that fits into its surroundings without being too imposed. Demonstrates a good grasp of the scale of the large country garden and a good, well-proportioned relationship between the spaces. The strong, graphic style complements the atmosphere captured in the plan."
This scheme for a six acre garden in Kent was inspired by the linear simplicity of the new house and the natural beauty and contours of the site and its 'borrowed landscape'. An ordered garden melting into a wild and untamed ‘Arcadian’ natural environment.
The ordered design incorporates a contemporary interpretation of a walled garden, an axial pathway and empty green heart leading into effusive, overflowing planting beds which form a grid of colourful ‘hyper meadow’ style planting. An ordered orchard, sunken tennis court, fire pit and entertaining terraces, Lime allée and entrance courtyard garden dissolve into 'Arcadian' woodland, wild flower meadow and a natural swimming pond as the land falls away into the borrowed landscape.
The design employs environment specific building materials; weathered oak and Kentish ragstone paving and cladding
Sheila designs planting schemes as part of a garden commission or to rejuvenate specific areas of your garden without an entire overhaul. She aims to create planting schemes with a richness of form and texture which look good throughout the year and change with the seasons, choosing plants suited to their surroundings, which will endure over time.
Structure & naturalism
Winner 2017 Society of Garden Design Awards
What the judges said: “Beautiful sketches illustrating a wonderfully restrained design that demonstrates a lightness of touch and a strong visual stillness.”
An urban oasis for a hardworking couple cocooned within the peace of the surrounding woodland with architectural detailing and soft, seductive planting. Inspired by the juxtaposition of structure and naturalism seen at Frank Lloyd Wright's design for 'Falling Water'.
The garden is treated as a sculptural piece with a carefully defined interplay between contrasting forms and materials, light and shadow, hard landscaping and planting.
Simple in its parts yet complex in its engineering and overall effect. Changes of level are addressed with cantilevered steps which double as informal seating and softened by the romantic ornamental meadow and underplanting of the pleached trees, gentle sound of water, dappled light and foliage of Acer palmatum.
West London garden
After the construction of a studio this typical London garden was badly in need of a redesign. The children had outgrown the need for a lawn and the family needed an access pathway between the house and the studio.
South facing, quiet despite its central location, the garden now provides an escape from city life with a simple, buff York stone terrace near the house providing dining and seating areas leading to a semi-circular gravel pathway cutting through exuberantly planted, predominantly green and white borders.
Climbing, shrub and rambling roses, tall bearded irises, perennials, bulbs and grasses punctuated by Yew domes create both seasonal change and year round structure, blur the boundaries with the neighbouring gardens and create privacy for the studio
Notting Hill courtyard
This Notting Hill townhouse is currently being reimagined by a renowned architectural practice. Like many London houses, the garden space is small, rather awkward and surrounded by tall buildings on the boundary blocking light. However, even within a relatively tiny space there can be a liberating sense of other worldliness about the garden experience. The moment you cross the threshold you are in a different world.
Lush, year round, foliage, dappled natural light and soft evening lighting will transform the space into a welcoming, comfortable retreat. Clever lighting, use of shadowplay and shade tolerant vertical planting makes a virtue of the surrounding, protective walls and provides a canopy of green when viewed from the upper stories and double height glass extension. Generous steps to a raised terrace disguises the difficult levels and creates an upper terrace, a seating area and low storage softened by planting within the shadow gaps.
The design is currently at the tender stage with construction due to begin in 2018
Formerly a front garden that was little more than a car park and a back garden 'carpeted' with wall to wall astroturf. By reorganising the space, the family now have an extended parking area utilising unseen, overgrown planting beds, the newly hung gates can be closed and the replanted front garden can be enjoyed as a sunny and private space for morning coffee.
The rear garden is re-imagined as a 'glamour woodland', silver birch trees and shade tolerant planting surround a gravel garden with space for the table tennis table. The first floor access is reorganised with a new steel balcony and architectural staircase. A contemporary, linear terrace, softened with interplanting creates an extended area for a fire pit and dining.