the vermeer garden
award: small residential award winner at society of garden designers awards 2014
winner (domestic garden £100-£250k) at british association of landscape industries awards 2008
photography: jerry harpur
The brief was for this garden was one of our more interesting requests and for that I thank our client. ‘It should be like a Vermeer painting’. It had to be good for entertaining and create some privacy in the face of the tall narrow Georgian terraced houses which were peering down into it.
The Dutchman’s palette of warm browns, mustards, pastel blues and murky white were ideal to work with, both in the hard materials and the plants themselves. Portland and York stone were utterly appropriate for Vermeer, the setting and the Heritage Body. Clipped box and yew enforced the link with this Grade 1 listed building and I insisted that we avoid the traps of symmetry and formality that are so easy to fall into when a nod to the past is called for. The serpentine bench is sculptural and integral and accommodates countless guests without the spatial limitations of free standing furniture.