Modernist Country House




North Somerset




Gareth Edwards

  • YEAR : 2014
  • LOCATION : North Somerset
  • CATEGORY : Newbuild
  • CREATIVE DIRECTOR : Gareth Edwards

Overlooking Tickenham Moor in North Somerset, a new build on the site of an old bonzai nursery. The original garden design was the work of Hegerty Weber back in 2014 with Gareth and his team involved from the very outset. A period of reflection saw the new house and garden sitting, uncomfortably, in a wild landscape of rubble mounds, rank grassland and scrub. The next phase of the landscape project, taken forward by Gareth, was to develop the grounds by connecting the house and its immediate setting to the wider landscape. Away from the formal herbaceous borders of the house, Gareth’s design incorporated wildflower meadow, orchard, woodland and pond. The house formal lawns were extended and re-shaped, creating a stepped ‘amphitheatre’.

Creating a wildflower meadow from waste ground of tarmac and rubble mounds, relics of the sites commercial history as a bonzai nursery, and excavations from the house build required some heavy machinery. Rob Skidmore of B2F Landscapes directed the demolition and construction phase of the design & build. Clearance, levelling, preparing a seed bed, sowing with a native perennial wildflower seed mix (Boston Seeds). We will manage the meadow with an annual cut (managing wildflower meadows).

Part of the brief was for a pond. A ‘jetty’ hardwood decking overhanging the pond, designed by Gareth, constructed by Rob of B2F Landscapes. Originally looking like a piece of modern art, the grand piano jetty has become part of the wildflower meadow, a focal point in the designed landscape.

The house was essentially dug into the gentle slope of the Failand ridge, a obdurate limestone bedrock. The old new lawn was always a struggle to keep happy on this unforgiving substrate. So we decided to build up in a series of grass terraces, stepped with rusty steel risers, grandly called the grass amphitheatre.

Winter 2021/22 will see move tree planting in the new meadow and orchard areas.

The pictures below show some of the stages of the landscape design and construction process. Heavy machinery, limestone bedrock, rubble and deep mud soon to become meadow, woodland, orchard and pond.