ISSUE 44  |  The New Landscape

Landscape Architect Visit: A Refined Kitchen Garden by Richard Miers

November 02, 2015 2:00 PM

BY Erin Boyle

I’m fond of kitchen gardens because they delight both sides of my brain. Wild and unruly and just a little bit scraggly, they also tend to be places where rambling plants get wrangled into order.

When RADD member Richard Miers designed this kitchen garden outside a large classical residence in Surrey, England, he created just the right blend of order and abundance. The lines of the house demanded a certain application of structure with “clean classical contemporary lines,” while the lush plantings lend a softer side to the space.

Photography courtesy of Richard Miers.

Above: With a directive to build a garden with year-round interest, Miers planted four raised beds of evergreen herbs–rosemary, lavender, and thyme–for use in the kitchen. The owners of the house live in Sardinia for the majority of the year (Miers is currently designing a garden there), but return to England in the winter.

The stone of the paths and terrace is English sandstone from Yorkshire, called Yorkstone. Miers interlaid the terrace and path with Belgium Bluestone details to contrast with the buff color of the sandstone.

Above: The raised beds in the garden were built with marine ply wrapped in a zinc covering that complements the blue elements of the terrace.

Above: Pleached Carpinus betulus–or Hornbeam–trees help shade a large dining terrace and, Miers explains, “give a sense of seclusion whilst allowing views out to the wider garden.” The stone terrace was built around the trees after they were planted. Miers surrounded each tree with a small bed of gravel to allow the trunks room to grow and set a light by each tree for dramatic nightime effect. The trees get pruned twice a year: once in June and again in September so they maintain their clean straight lines.

Above: The oversized dining table on the sandstone terrace was a special commission from a furniture and cabin designer friend of Miers, Jeremy Pitts. It was made from teak harvested in the 1960s. The chairs are classic Luxembourg Chairs by Fermob; $335 apiece from Ambietne Direct. In the background, wisteria and Trachelospermum jasminoides, or Star Jasmine, wind their way up the downspout.

Above: The dark earth-colored pots placed around the terrace are made of stone resin, which Miers explains is “good for roof terraces as well as they aren’t too heavy to move before they are planted up.” A similar Stone Resin Planter is available from the same company, Bright Green, for £102.

Curious about sandstone used indoors? See it put to work in A Midcentury Cabin in Amagansett on Remodelista.

For more from Richard Miers, see Bloom Time with UK Garden Designer Richard Miers.

Suffering Fermob-induced sticker shock? See: High/Low: Fermob for Less?