The Home Away Garden

The Home Away Garden, a drought tolerant RHS award-winning show garden with a Harrod Horticulture steel table and chairs. Designed by April House – Award Winning Cotswolds Garden Design

RHS Malvern 2023 Silver Gilt medal winning garden

Garden design features: drought tolerant planting, low maintenance landscaping and planting, gravel pathways, natural stone, exotic plants, formal garden

Inspired by holidays to North-West Brittany the HomeAway garden reimagines a neglected garden discovered nestled amongst the stone cottages and barns near our family’s second home. Set within the footprint and remains of an old stone barn where swallows nest and play, the garden recalls the diverse landscape beyond through its features and plants: rocky headlands where huge Agave cliffhang, sandy verges and dune pathways peppered with wild fennel, town squares where seats under ancient Persian Silk Trees offer a place to rest and watch the world go by. Traditional stone walls in private gardens offer enticing glimpses of exotic plants and gates you just want to walk through.

Garden design layout and planting plan

The layout of the garden is a revised pattern from a stained-glass window in the cathedral in Dol-de-Bretagne -a formal shape looped with a fleur-de-lys. While the formal aspect of the garden’s design is a nod to classical formal French garden design, the planting pockets are drawn from elements of Brittany’s wilder places and allowed to swirl and soften the space. Fractured remains of walls are embraced and left for wildlife habitat.

A drought tolerant garden

The garden is designed for a second homeowner, who needs a garden that can survive and thrive periods of absence, drought and where maintenance is low. A simple rainwater harvesting system provides water when needed while the remaining drought tolerant plants are self sufficient.

With special thanks to my contractor Jason Grub from JG Landscaping Ltd and Task Academy for advice and support.

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Materials List

Below is a list of materials and items used on the garden loaned or repurposed for future private garden projects.

Welsh Pennant Building Stone – Cawarden Reclaim
Self binding gravel Gold Path, Scottish Pebbles and Boulders, Glacial Boulders, Brittany Sand – Stone Warehouse
Barn section construction materials – County
Southwold 1.3m Round DiningTable and Chairs – Harrod Horticultural
Handwoven Hardwood Daybed The Daybed Company – The Daybed Company
Whelk Shell Mulch – Shell on Earth
Aloe Sculpture – Simon Probyn

Plant List

Agave americana
Agave americana 'variegata'
Aloe striatula
Beshorneria yuccoides
Trachycarpus fortunei

Armeria caespitosa/ Armeria maritima splendens
Carex testacea
Crithmum maritium
Crambe maritima
Echium fastuosum / candicans
Echium pininiana ‘Blue Towers’
Euphorbia epithymoides
Euphorbia myrsinities
Euphorbia epithymoides
Euphorbia wulfenii
Festuca mairei
Foeniculum vulgare
Helictotrichon semperviren
Lathyrus sylvestris
Lithodora diffusa
Limonium latifolium
Limonium platyphyllum
Origanum vulgare
Pelargonium trailing
Sesleria nitida
Stachys byzantia
Stipa tenuissima
Thymus praecox
Verbascum bombiceferum

Westringia fruticosa Mundi/Smoky
Santolina Chamaecyparissus
Hydrangea Mophead/Macrophylla Blue

Elaeagnus umbellata

Elaeagnus ebbengei

© April House Garden Design