The Cattle Market Garden
Flint walls are a familiar feature in Sussex. Some have added character from iron ties (usually crosses) shoring them up, but very few will have big bosses and rings for tethering Cattle. These are the classic features of the Cattle Market walls in Chichester with the bosses going through onto the other side.
As a Sussex boy myself it is always exciting to deal with something like these. Things which you have known all of your life.
My client wanted a small lawn and a summerhouse as well as a water feature. It seemed self-evident that using cattle troughs as planters would be entirely appropriate. The design was developed with ‘the Rule of Threes’- three large troughs, three small troughs and three large squares (if you include the square summerhouse). Two of the smaller troughs form the water features and have submersible lights in them for night time.
We have used a ‘brick’ which looks old and reclaimed but unlike actual reclaimed bricks it is made of very hard clay and will not fall apart when laid at ground level. The rationale is that the wall is made of flint with two bands of brick, so the patio is made of brick with two bands of flint.
With planters you can have different conditions for the plants to grow in. The herbs are nearest the house in sun and have a free draining relatively poor soil. On the side plants which enjoy shade have richer, moisture retentive soil. At the end of the garden one large trough has deliberately poor drainage and lovely marginal plants in it.
Lighting was incorporated very carefully as the whole garden is clearly visible from the house at night through large folding patio doors. This is controlled wirelessly. As with many projects there are a number of spike lights which can be repositioned and adjusted as the seasons change.
The planting provides year-round interest with Hellebores and spring bulbs included.