30 January 2020
The Hill Cottage Case Study
Living in a rural location the owners of the Hill Cottage B&B near Stratford upon Avon were fed up with trying to grow vegetables in a battle of appetites between themselves and the deer, rabbits and badgers! Their conclusion was to construct something solid that their furry friends couldn't enter and decided upon a walled kitchen garden.
The basic design had to include walls to keep the wildlife out and raised beds to contain the vegetables, sleeper-edged beds filled with gravel on one side for plants for sale and in transit as they grow, and beds against the tallest walls for decorative trained fruit and roses.
As for the materials underfoot, they wanted to utilise a variety of materials which were serviceable as well as attractive in juxtaposition.
“The design grew in my mind over quite a long period of time. At first I fantasised about just building a wall along the extremity to take the place of a very old and ragged hedge which was impossible to plant in front of as it expanded each spring at a rate of knots, but I never really believed that what I let myself imagine with free reign would ever happen to the elaborate extent that it did.
I set out to emulate the traditional walled kitchen gardens found in historic country estates such that, after a few years of maturity, you may well wonder at the age of the actual construction. But I also wanted to add a contemporary quirk to the design, which I think I achieved by avoiding the obvious path straight up the middle leading to the glasshouse. In fact, there is a practical advantage in the path dividing, as the left hand route leads to double gates which allow the mower to be ridden into the grassed area behind, and the right hand path leads to a single gate to a store. I feel very fortunate indeed with the fabulous space we have created”.
Choosing the Products
“The Westminster Stone Jacobean Bricks took my fancy as soon as I saw them as they give an immediate sense of maturity and look as though they have been uncovered, rather than newly-laid. They are set off admirably by blue engineering bricks which form sections allowing the Jacobean bricks to be laid in contrasting directions, including herringbone and on the diagonal. They blend well with the other materials: sandstone paving slabs and gravel.
The Jacobean bricks have proved to be ideal for bringing an established and aged appearance to this brand new area, and I am absolutely thrilled with the way everything has gelled together to make a beautiful whole.
I was recommended to look at the Westminster Stone range by Sally Hopkinson, a garden designer friend here in Snitterfield and of course, since then, I have seen their name everywhere, including on the side of pallets being delivered on the Escape to the Château programme!”
Gillie Waldron, www.thehillcottage.co.uk
Photos courtesy of The Hill Cottage B&B CV37 0QA
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These traditional paving brick block pavers add character and maturity to any restoration project, helping to create a rustic feel. Available to buy online in 10 square metre project packs.