Pool Garden

A historic, listed property on the edge of Aldeburgh, overlooking the Alde estuary.  Extensive renovations have taken place.  Remaining planting in the extensive garden is well-established, but dated.  The realignment of the main entrance and new buildings and a swimming pool have created opportunities for new forecourt, courtyard, and pool garden areas.

We have been asked to begin by designing a pool garden which, while providing screening from the adjacent garden centre, does not interfere with sunlight.  Low maintenance planting and an ‘Italian feel’ were also elements of the brief.

Inspired by the landscape of the Alde estuary, an embankment screens the pool from the neighbouring nursery.  Replicating local flood defences, it is planted with clusters of small, native trees and shrubs.  Larger trees (Populus tremula) are positioned to create wider cover where necessary.

Pools are often brutalised by too much paving, and the concept avoids this by enveloping the whole area in plantations of ornamental grasses echoing the vast expanses of reeds beyond.  In the immediate vicinity of the pool, these are overlaid with a matrix of low-maintenance summer-flowering perennials.  Formality and a Mediterranean touch is added by geometric groupings of sculpted fastigiate yew.

A dining area has been created adjacent to the pool house, supplemented by a south-facing lounging zone screened from the tennis court by a formal evergreen hedge.  A half-moon lawn provides a relaxed area in dappled shade for rugs and cushions.