Garden Design & Landscaping, Bampton, Oxfordshire

Garden Design & Landscaping Bampton, Oxfordshire

The Opera House

The Brief

To redesign the garden to make it easier to maintain and more suitable for entertaining opera loving guests! The client wanted the beds reduced and the garden generally simplified and stripped back.


The garden has a south facing aspect, so is very sunny, and in the summer exposed and hot in the afternoon, although shaded from the morning sun, as the garden is framed by the L-shaped house. We needed to replace a decaying fence panel which was hiding an ugly concrete block wall, whilst preserving a mature climbing hydrangea. The client also requested that we create something interesting and dynamic to hide their bins.

The Solution

Our aim was to create an outside entertaining space that felt like a natural extension of the clients home. To achieve this we brought the outside level up in-line with the floors of the house, adding Indian sandstone paving and decking made of heat-treated ash. This was to mimic the stone floor and floorboards within the house so the client could walk from stone floors in the home to a stone floor outside, creating an inside/outside space for ease of entertaining.


We used reclaimed york coping stones placed on top of a rebuilt cotswold stone wall, using lime mortar, to create a stone seating area around the outside perimeter of the garden. This was backed by a hand woven willow screen fence, making more defined boundaries with neighbours whilst also creating shade for the stone seating area.


To deal with the challenge of obscuring the concrete wall, whilst keeping the climbing hydrangea, we carefully pulled back the hydrangea and supported it, whilst putting up a new panel wall made of weatherboard, which we painted and then retrained the climber onto it.


We incorporated the bin store into a staircase, which was made of timber and stone steps, made to look like a mediterranean exterior staircase, this can be climbed to view the setting sun. A reclaimed victorian bath was turned into a small pond as a fun, theatrical feature, in line with the brief to make it an entertaining space for opera lovers. This we planted with lilies and put in a pump system to allow the tap to run as a fountain. Adding water to the space was also useful for adding a cooling feature to a hot area of the garden.

Designed and built in collaboration with David Hudd at Structura

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