Graduate Gardeners

BALI Award 2019: Domestic Garden Construction Between £60k - £100k

Designed by Mark Draper, Graduate Gardeners win another award in the National Landscape Awards of 2019 in the £60k to £100k section with this converted Barn garden design in Oxfordshire

Design description

The property, a converted barn sat awkwardly with no relationship to the garden and landscape beyond. The drive that leads to the rear garaging divided the space, cutting across the visual line from the house, splitting the house from the garden. Having little in the way of garden near to the house, meant that the house felt perched on the edge of the drive, so this created a real design challenge.

The key to the design was to develop a garden immediately outside the new timber/glazed extension. The scheme would also require screening, creating privacy from neighbouring properties.

As there is no front garden/drive to the property, the client was keen to form an ‘entrance’ courtyard as part of the drive, which was to be gated off from the rest of the property. This created a visual divide to the main garden, preventing for example delivery drivers driving right into the property.

Strong visual lines were key to draw the eye and to create links throughout the space. The existing randomly planted fruit trees were carefully lifted and replanted to from an avenue, leading the eye out towards the meadow. The design needed to also link some of the existing features that were already in place for example the raised bed area and tree lined avenue heading out into the paddock.

Overall, planting was going to be key to the project, everything felt very hard and uninviting. Structural planting, pleached trees, hedges and topiary were used to provide screening and a structural backbone to the design, contrasting with the softer planting and wildflower meadow on the opposite side of the drive.

Natural Yorkstone was used to link with the paving already on site, and brick detailing was incorporated, a subtle link to the properties past use as farm buildings.

The scheme has proved to be a great success, the clients have been delighted with the design and workmanship.


This beautiful scheme has been sensitively designed and executed, completely transforming the property.

There were difficult levels for the contractor to work with but the excellent choice of materials, beautiful plant selection and meticulous attention to detail throughout has resulted in a landscaping masterclass.

garden design ocfordshire bali award
garden design ocfordshire bali award
garden design ocfordshire bali award
garden design ocfordshire bali award
garden design ocfordshire bali award
garden design ocfordshire bali award

If you require garden design, construction, large or small landscape gardening in Cheltenham, Cirencester throughout the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties please get in touch

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