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.
We started with a concept plan of the whole site, including paddocks, stables, driveway, natural pool and garden.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A fine gravel path runs around the pool, perfect for bare feet, softened with grasses and waterside perennials.
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.
Behind the pool we sowed a native wildflower meadow with mown grass pathways which leads out to the pony paddocks and grassy meadows beyond.
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.
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.
The pool and garden both change with the seasons and blend together seamlessly.
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.