Garden Design Study Group: Barfield Garden
Lyhn and Gordon Barfield bought their property in 1999, and have created a beautiful garden on a quite difficult site. The sloping land provides an attractive outlook but required a lot of terracing. However, in this process, it also allowed the ground to be sculpted for much greater interest. A friendly local supplied many large rocks – some very large – to help. A small pool nestles between a few of these. A set of steps in the back garden give an indication of the considerable changes in level.
The soil is heavy clay and initial introduction of fill proved unsatisfactory. Lyhn says the addition of mulch over the years has been slow to improve the condition of the soil but is now being more effective. Another problem faced is the need to protect plants (especially small plants) from rabbits. Wire guards are currently used for this. One challenge is the possible threat of bush fires in summer. Some deciduous trees and shrubs have been included in the garden, mainly for this reason but also for the foliage colour in autumn. A curved path to the entrance is bordered to the west by a garden that includes deciduous trees, while between path and house are some deciduous shrubs. Curved garden beds border lawns at each level, with these separate areas connected by steps.
For more information on this garden see Garden Design Study Group Newsletter 87, August 2014, p. 15
Photos: Michael Cook