This property's true identity is hidden behind formal plantings and private courtyards

The three layers of hedging surround a series botanical garden, courtyard, estate, garden, grass, hedge, landscape, landscaping, lawn, leaf, plant, real estate, shrub, tree, vegetation, walkway, brown
The three layers of hedging surround a series of secluded courtyards.

Providing calm and peaceful surroundings helps to reduce stress levels in anxious patients who are undergoing medical treatment.

In planning the gardens for the new premises of Fertility First, the medical clinic featured here, atmosphere was an important consideration.

Landscape designer Paul Bangay was asked to create a garden design that made the heritage-listed building look more like a private home than commercial premises.

"The garden was seen as a good way to help put patients at ease when they arrive," says Bangay.

Large urns framed by low hedges and planted backyard, bench, chair, estate, furniture, garden, grass, green, home, house, landscape, landscaping, lawn, leaf, nature, outdoor structure, patio, plant, table, tree, yard, green
Large urns framed by low hedges and planted with Japanese box clipped into spheres add to the structured formality of the garden.

Dr Anne Clark of Fertility First says that she wanted somewhere that was peaceful and private from the street.

"Our aim was for people to enter into a tranquil oasis," she says. "Fertility issues can be stressful, so the surroundings needed to induce calm."

Bangay designed a formal garden with several layers of hedges at different heights. The tallest layer, Ficus hillii, effectively separates the street and the rest of the neighbourhood from the garden. In front are the smaller, tightly clipped hedges of dark green murrya and brighter Japanese box.

"We have kept to a simple, green theme, because this is a calming colour. Evergreen plants mean the garden is always neat and maintains a consistent appearance all year round," says Bangay.

Seating is placed around the garden to provide backyard, chair, furniture, garden, outdoor furniture, outdoor structure, patio, plant, table, yard, brown
Seating is placed around the garden to provide spaces to help patients relax and feel calmer about their treatment programmes.

"The three hedge varieties were chosen for their different shades of green providing some contrast whilst staying within the theme of simplicity."

Hedges break the spaces in the garden into a series of courtyards. Visitors step from the street into the first courtyard then through into a larger area that leads to the front door of the clinic. Seats are built into the courtyards, so patients can take time out in the garden if they require it.

"Our team can also be affected by the stress of dealing with anxious people, so the garden helps them, too," says Dr Clark.

A third, private courtyard includes tables and chairs for team breaks and for relaxing together.

Credit list

Landscape designer
Stone benches
Eco Concepts
Garden maintenance
Eco Concepts
Lister Teak
French Anduze pots from Parreterre Gardens

Story by: Mary Webb

12 Sep, 2008

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