I have developed a beautiful and simple garden. It faces South West and overlooks the sea. With prevailing south westerly winds and brackish air and heavy clay it is quite challenging. The garden heights range from 250 ft to 450 ft above sea level.
Marren combines structure with wildness. It is nestled amid National Trust farmland and overlooks Portland and Weymouth Bay. It is on the coastal path, between Ringstead, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.
To retain the feeling of harmony on this natural site, I have used local materials: green oak, willow, Purbeck stone and pebbles from Lyme Bay.
The entrance, which is inspired by Italian courtyards, has a refreshing fountain with terracotta pots and scented plants. The sound of the fountain, the aroma of the pine trees and the backdrop of the sea evokes a hot summer’s day in Italy.
Surrounding the house and facing the sea I have planted grasses and rich bright coloured perennials, to stand up to the strength of the sun and sea. Even on a calm day you can see the grasses dancing in the wind.
Behind the house, through a small copse there is a 64 step grass stairway which leads you to a grass terrace – which the Italians would call a belvedere. There you will find a contemporary hornbeam folly flowing away from the sea as if sculpted by the wind.
We truly share our space with the wild life. We have developed it to be a bird and insect sanctuary. In the summer it is alive with bees, butterflies and occasionally humming bird hawk moths.
You can view some of the images below.