BERNARD HICKIE | GARDENS & LANDSCAPES
Private Garden - Cork
A former Rectory, this late Victorian house is set on circa 1.3 acres in south Cork.
The owners were keen to preserve as much of the existing gardens and as many trees as possible. There are some beautiful and remarkable trees growing in the gardens including a listed and protected 10m high Malus floribunda (Japanese Crab apple), Arbutus unedo, Magnolia grandiflora, Juglans nigra, Taxus baccata and numerous species Rhododendrons, some dating back as far as the building of the house in the late 1800’s.
The brief was to integrate harmoniously this historical legacy with a very modern intervention and with project architect Maria MacVeigh, we collaborated to create a seamless extension from inside to outside, creating a large terrace to the rear of the house, outdoor kitchen and dining area, a sunken terrace for western light and a kitchen courtyard.
Hard landscape treatments evolved over the build and in response to practicalities, as is often the case. The resultant mixtures of paving and gravel surfaces work very well together both aesthetically and under foot. We chose a simple planting palette to create both maturity and geometry where required, bringing in large evergreen and deciduous tree and shrub specimens to compliment the existing planting and using semi shade loving woodland understorey planting to knit the scheme together.
We also specified an all weather ball court, vegetable garden and soft fruit area, recycling many of the existing fruit bushes, apple trees, asparagus crowns and setting them out in a new and more practical layout. Development of the gardens is ongoing.
Happily, this project won an award for best large garden in its category for the landscape contractors, Pavilion, Cork.