THE JOURNAL FOR THE SOCIETY OF GARDEN DESIGNERS

Designer country garden in Cornwall

The new garden setting has helped the house settle into the complex sloping site


This romantic formal garden was designed from scratch without a masterplan. 


Situated close to Lanhydrock in Cornwall, the garden of Newton House “never had a masterplan” according to designer John Moreland FSGD. It was an unusual working process, developed over several years, and involved John working up sketches that were finalised by a process of review and redesign, in consultation with the owner. “I have never worked with such a perfect client,” says John.

The finished garden covers 2.8 acres, and consists of a front walled area with a gravity-fed rill, a rear walled garden, terrace and lawn leading to an enclosed seating area overlooking the water garden. There is also a vegetable garden, flowering meadow and an outdoor sunken performance arena.


The water features are gravity fed from a natural spring, with no power needed


“Once each stage of the design was agreed with the client, I would talk it through with the contractor, David Preston & Sons, and then sketch up specific details as required, set it out on the ground then monitor the work to completion,” he explains.

The design won two prizes at the SGD Awards 2015 – the Large Residential Award sponsored by Gaze Burvill and the Judges’ Award sponsored by Majestic Trees. The judges praised John’s use of natural resources. He had harnessed the nearby natural spring water to ensure that no power was needed. They also particularly liked the planting, which showed a skilled use of shrubs, and the garden’s romantic, but formal layout.



An area for vegetables was in the brief from the client


“It is a style of garden that is rarely being made today,” they commented. “Not ground breaking, not horticulturally experimental, but a lovely place to be in. This is an impressive garden conceived from scratch. A very beautiful transformation. A fantastic sense of place, excellent scale and proportion and it sits effortlessly in the countryside setting.”