East Lothian Large Country Garden

rural retreat

A large country garden in East Lothian edged with a strip of pine woodland, featuring a large wildlife pond surrounded by borders filled with grasses and colourful perennials, a kitchen garden with cobbled patio to catch the morning sun, a larger more formal patio and pergola for afternoon dining and a small area for growing fruit and vegetables.

This was a wonderful commission to create a garden for our clients' country home in East Lothian.
The existing garden was a completely blank canvas with vast empty sloping lawns and a small patio in the shade at the back of the house. We set about creating a garden which reflected the rural setting, bringing in wildlife and giving our clients a peaceful sanctuary away from their busy lives.

The kitchen courtyard with a circular cobbled patio large enough for a table and chairs to enjoy the early morning sun.
The patio is surrounded by rings of mixed lavenders, nepetas, Perovskia, Hebe and interplanted with Libertias and Verbenas. The gravel path is speckled with low growing Thymus vulgaris.

Rustic sandstone steps lead from the lawn down into the woodland. They were cut from a single sandstone boulder and laid in thick slices.
We improved the natural grass planting within the woodland by adding more wildflowers and an understory of British native plants.

The main feature of the garden is a large wildlife pond.
At one end the deck hovers above the surface of the water and provides the perfect spot to look out over the pond to the cobble beach and the wild flower meadow beyond.
In spring the pond quickly becomes home to toad and frogspawn. In summer swallows dive back and forth hunting insects.

The margins of the pond are planted with native water plants such as Iris laevigata, Butomis umbellatus and Lythrum salicaria whilst large white water lilies flower on the surface.
Butomis umbellatus a native flowering rush has been planted along the edge of the pond, its pretty pink flowers attracting insects.
On the opposite bank more Butomis flowers against the white plumes of Persicaria polymorpha.

The pond is surrounded by borders filled with grasses and herbaceous perennials. A mown grass path leads through these borders down to a wild flower meadow.
We chose a mix of grasses and herbaceous perennials to give a long season of interest.

A more formal patio laid with extra large slate slabs is framed by a low wall made from natural sandstone and topped with sawn sandstone coping.
A wooden pergola covered in scented climbing roses marks the entrance and borders underneath are planted with a low clipped box hedging and colourful perennials.

In a sheltered sunny corner in the front garden a short avenue of fruit trees are underplanted with blocks of Poa cita grasses and Sedum matrona.
This area is also home to four raised vegetable beds and a small greenhouse.