Country House, Suffolk

Nestled deep in the Suffolk countryside, this 10 acre, Grade II listed property, a former rectory and site of an old abbey, is being lovingly restored by its current owners. The imposing architecture and numerous outbuildings are all being renovated and developed to accommodate modern family requirements. These interventions include a new garden design for the gardens, moat-like ponds and broader Suffolk landscape to enhance and position the house in its surrounds.


The Garden Design

Tom and his team completed a detailed garden design master plan dividing the garden into individual projects beginning with the kitchen garden, built be Lee Attridge Landscapes.

The new owners were very taken with the peace and quiet of the Suffolk countryside – it’s rare to hear a car, and are keen to keep it that way! The majority of the land is to be part re-wilded part wildflower meadows. At the initial meeting Tom suggested that there should be various levels of “wild-ness”. From full on Knepp-style rewilding where Mother Nature manages the landscape, to some form of managed wild-ness i.e. planting of trees (Woodland Trust grant assisted) and mown paths with destinations.The key-views across the landscape will be retained and enhanced by the garden design. Without wishing to create too much maintenance, garden rooms of manageable size will surround the house.These will anchor the house within the landscape, and blur where wild meets formal by extending formality into the wildness and vice versa.

A kitchen garden design, with greenhouse was first completed as the new owners are keen to embrace a more self-sufficient lifestyle and to maximise the wonderful vistas on this west side of the house. The new kitchen glass extension was incorporated into the garden design to maximise its features and design.

A main feature within the gardens is a large non-functioning pond. The pond was de-silted by Miles Waterscapes and Lee Attridge has recently completed the surrounding landscaping, complete with a 12 metre span bridge.

Tree Planting

Tom is developing a tree planting programme for the future to enhance the already beautiful ancient trees at the property. A programme of tree planting began last winter with over 30 specimen trees form Barcham Trees and 3,000 native cell-grown trees from Rymer Trees. Many of the overgrown hedgerows will be left to re-colonise and some relaid to open up landscapes. Tom is investigating grants and funded assistance to support attracting wildlife into the paddocks and landscape.

The project is continuing.