Case Study

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We were asked to design and construct a natural swimming pool and garden for a family with young children.

This was a lovely project for us to work on in a 2 acre plot, part of a 5 acre small holding.

Site preparation
Site preparation

We started with a concept plan of the whole site, including paddocks, stables, driveway, natural pool and garden.

Concept Plan
Concept Plan

We designed colourful, cottage style planting to wrap around the house with a spacious patio and pergola for al-fresco dining. Stepping through a gravel garden, with creeping thymes and aromatics, through to the lawn with its sunken trampoline and living willow den, orchard and football pitch, a short walk takes you to the natural swimming pool, focal point of the garden which we designed especially for family fun.

Preparing the ground
Preparing the ground
Natural Pool Installation
Natural Pool installation

The pool has a generous swim zone of 15m x 5m, with a curving regeneration zone to one side and a decked walkway leading to the large sun deck and cabin which we designed with with an outdoor kitchen and pool store behind - the perfect space to relax beside the water in all weathers.

Cabin and walkway construction
Cabin and deck construction
Finished Deck and Cabin

We thought hard about making the pool fun for young children. We incorporated a shallow, filtered beach planted with reeds and aromatic water mint with a water boulder which is part of the pool’s hydraulics. The beach leads to the side shallow end which is 700mm deep and ideal for younger children to access the water and great for thermal gain.

Planting pool area
Planting pool area

For the first time we constructed a pontoon which pivots and bobs as you walk across it and sits like a floating island in the pool, accessed from the garden by a stunning rope bridge made out of green oak.

Rope bridge
Rope bridge feature

A fine gravel path runs around the pool, perfect for bare feet, softened with grasses and waterside perennials.

Gravel path around pool
Gravel path around pool

The pool is surrounded by colourful borders with grasses and naturalistic planting on one side and a perennial flower meadow winds around the far side, opening up around lawned areas for picnics and day dreaming.

Planting plan
Planting Plan
Meadow turf laying

Behind the pool we sowed a native wildflower meadow with mown grass pathways which leads out to the pony paddocks and grassy meadows beyond.

Wildflower meadow with mown grass path

The pool is fenced temporarily while the children are young. The chestnut paling fencing is softened by weaving it through planting with gates to open up when the pool is in use.

Pool fencing and sunken trampoline

This garden has been designed for longevity with a framework of hedges, specimen trees and shrubs. In addition we planted over 30000 bulbs for spring and winter flowers.

Planting preparation
Planting trees
Planting trees

The pool and garden both change with the seasons and blend together seamlessly.

Al-fresco dining area
Al-fresco dining area

In its first year, the garden is already a magnet for wildlife with bumblebees, butterflies and birds drawn to the meadow and dragon flies and swallows visiting the pool. We look forward to seeing it mature over the years.

Carlton Natural Swimming Pool
Finished pool


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