Landscape scheme for Contemporary House in Cranbrook

Award winner British Association of Landscape Industries National Awards 2004

This project began following a call from garden designer and TV Presenter Andy Sturgeon who had designed a garden in Cranbrook, Kent.  Linden Landscapes successfully tendered for the work and the build began in 2003.

It was an unusual site: a large, detached and very modern new build house, with steel, timber and glass, set in 1 ½  acres surrounded by 1930s semi detached houses. Local people had remarked on how inappropriate the property looked in relation to the surrounding area. Builders were still working on the site which was extremely swampy and muddy. Excavations commenced to conform to the plan and land drains were run to the pumping station at the back of the house from where the water was pumped out to the mains system. Other services were laid before topsoil was imported and spread.

The rendered curved walls, which were directly inspired by the central tower of the house, are an interesting feature, as are the mixed glacial boulders of varying sizes and the sawn and sanded oak cubes, which provide informal seating areas.


Fine quality hardwood decking was laid on the internal curve at the front of the house. A Breedon gravel path with paved platforms and steps led to the front door. These areas were paved with Kotah blue Indian limestone. The garden was then turfed with Rolawn Medallion turf and planted in a ‘prairie’ style using grasses and herbaceous plants. At the rear, the lawns were reseeded with a grass wildflower mix and planted with additional wildflower plugs.

A front drive was laid and automated entrance gates fitted as well as a pedestrian gate with an intercom and remote opening from the house.

Hunza lighting was installed throughout the garden, highlighting existing large trees, all of which survived the works and are still thriving to this day.

The end result was a garden that has matured with time: planting has become established and filled the beds. The garden has allowed the house to blend in much more sympathetically with its surroundings.


Year of completion: 2003

Duration: 4-5 months

Budget: £50-£100,000

Location: Cranbrook, Kent

Area: 3,500 sq.m

Features: curved sloping rendered walls,  boulders, oak cube seating, hardwood decking, prairie style planting, Breedon, gravel paths

Challenges: drainage, retaining existing trees, working alongside builders, maintaining access for clients while works in progress

Designer: Andy Sturgeon