Fife Garden

Dream Garden

With stunning views over the Firth of Forth, this garden was an absolute dream to design.  It has the feel of a walled garden.  It has an existing and productive orchard.  It is fertile with a mature bank of trees and shrubs shielding the garden from westerly winds. And it has a south-facing aspect to die for with sunshine bathing the house and garden all day long.  On top of this, it is owned by the most charming family whose wish list was as diverse and open minded as it was intelligent and realistic.

Firstly, we agreed to take some of the traditional feel of the surrounding village and add a contemporary twist to it.  We then discussed re-locating an existing wildlife pond to make it more visible from the house and from there the garden’s finished design evolved.

Figure of Eight shaped pond

The shape of the pond was dictated by the desire not to overwhelm the garden with too much water while giving a sufficiently long line for reflections.  In this way, the figure of eight shape was established.  In order to accentuate this I chose a twisting ribbon to define the water’s edge and a very pale sandstone was settled on, after many other choices of materials and colours were discarded.

Garden arbour

As with so many Scottish gardens, shelter was deemed highly desirable and is provided by an arbour with deck and a sedum roof offering cool shade from the sun and shelter from showers allowing the family to make use of the garden in a variety of weathers.

Views from the hot tub

An existing hot tub soaks up the best views of the Forth and provided me with the opportunity to create a ‘viewing platform’ again using decking.  Two simple Adirondack chairs create an irresistible invitation to slow down, relax and contemplate the sky, sea and scenery.  A curving board walk connects the house to the hot tub.  This provides bathers with a ‘clean’ route across the garden without carrying grass cuttings into the hot tub on their feet!


The clients were keen to try out billowing grasses in their garden for the first time and a combination of Stipa Tenuissima and Stipa Gigantea grow beautifully side by side.  The embankment behind the arbour is now a successful wildflower meadow.  Borders around the house contain long flowering perennials such as Erigeron karvinskianus, Geranium Rozanne, Persicaria affinis Darjeeling Red and Astrantia Claret.

Dream Team

This garden was built by Water Gems and in 2012 they won a prestigious BALI Principal Award for their workmanship.  Plants were supplied by Binny Plants. Garden lighting by Gavin Foster of ACR Electrics.  The dry stone wall was built by Jason Hoffman.

In the Press

The garden was featured in the July/August 2012 edition of Homes and Interiors Scotland which concluded ‘clever thinking is evident throughout this garden’. This remains one of my favourite projects and return visits are always a joy.

Completed 2012


Principal award BALI 2012

Awards, Garden Buildings, Landscaping, Lighting, Planting, Water Features