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Wildlife Garden Great Missenden

This large front garden in Great Missenden was just lawn when I first saw it with neither strong layout or good planting.  The soil is clay chalk with flint and very alkaline.  The garden was also very exposed to wind that blew across the open nearby valley.  However the view across the valley is gorgeous and I immediately wanted to include it.  The driveway had a right of way for walkers to pass through so, surprisingly for the country, privacy was an issue.

Design Brief

The clients primarily wanted a garden for wildlife to attract bees in particular but also to provide a habitat for birds and pond life.  They wanted different areas to view the garden from and for it to be a place to relax and unwind in.

Garden Design

I based the layout on curves to link in with the meandering hills and surrounding tree canopies.  I had to stop the wind from decimating the new planting so a 1.5m thick native hedgerow was planted around the entire perimeter which was clipped lower around the viewpoint across the valley.  This provides a good nesting site for birds along with food from berries as well as a wind barrier.

Plants were selected for their tolerance of the inhospitable soil and attractiveness to wildlife.  Nectar rich plants such as Lavender, Cirsium, Verbena, Helenium, Digitalis, Scabious and Sedum were repeated throughout the beds.  I included a wildlife pond which was planted with native plants to attract pondlife with surrounding decking for loungers and pond watching.

A pergola was included to give some height interest, enclose a seating area and provide privacy to the houses on the opposite side of the road. The main patio juts out into the garden, is surrounded by planting and takes full advantage of the view across the valley.

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