Grenville’s view of what gardens can achieve.

“Gardens irrespective of their size have the capability of raising the spirits and feeding the imagination and soul. They are special and somewhat magical, sometimes theatrical, and very unique places that can leave a lasting impression probably because they have what Grenville calls the ‘Wow factor.’ They have the potential to make tremendous improvements to our lives and enhance the places where we live. Gardens are often little havens of peace and tranquillity that can also support a variety of wildlife .”

© Grenville Johnson 2019

The story of how the garden has developed.

In October 2004, a mature Magnolia began to lean dangerously over the garden, prompting the owner to completely clear and redesign the whole garden. He filled six large skips and removed seven tons of waste during the autumn of 2004. It took five weeks of hard labour to completely clear and prepare the site. The 1970’s paved patio was removed, and the ground level lowered by a further two feet to enable the lower garden area to be levelled in line with the ground floor of the house.

The next step involved the installation of a new liner for the pond. ‘Rockthemes International’ a British company that specialises in faux rockwork began to construct the rockwork features in October 2004. The construction work was completed in January 2005, and then some of the early planting began, and has continued and developed into the garden of today. The upper garden features the wonderful and spectacular gothic folly that was installed in 2016 by the award winning folly specialists Redwood Stone Ltd. The garden was designed as separate ‘Garden Domains’ or ‘Outdoor rooms.’ Each has its own unique character that takes account of the varying conditions in the garden due to the geographic location.

The lower area features the Italianate garden and ‘Fernery’ with the temple ruin folly.On the opposite side is the wildlife pond and the grotto with a water casacde, the rocky outcrop and the tree ‘Stumpery’.

The original plan was to create a garden with what Grenville calls the ‘Wow factor’, a place of quiet tranquillity that is visually stimulating. The garden is surprisingly quiet considering the house is situated only three miles from the busy centre of the city of Bristol.

wpc79f56b5_05_06 Installing the faux rockwork in 2004. This was the first stage of the garden revival.

  The Italianate folly doorway.

wpba59f849_05_06 The faux rockwork under construction