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Naturalistic, Contemporary Country Garden - Awarded Best Show Garden!

Eco Oasis Show garden is designed to be part of a larger, naturalistic, contemporary country garden. designed with squares of paving, planting and corten troughs

As you may have seen on Gardeners' World last week, Dan Hartley Garden Design was awarded Best Show Garden for our naturalistic, contemporary country garden design, The Eco Oasis Garden! This design, which is part of a larger contemporary country garden, features environmentally friendly elements and is managed organically. It showcases how a garden can incorporate sustainable elements while still being a beautiful space to immerse oneself in nature.

No contemporary country garden would be complete without swathes of beautiful, naturalistic planting. This not only creates a relaxing, tranquil environment for us to enjoy but is also vital for wildlife. From pollinators and invertebrates to birds and small mammals, a host of creatures rely on the habitats we can provide.

A corten trough and rill water feature cuts into a raised paving platform for support. naturalistic planting offsets the colour of the corten trough and softens the ambiance of the contemporary garden design

There is a serious depletion in insect numbers in the UK. Studies have shown that the population of butterflies has decreased by 76% since 1976, and the overall biomass of flying insects has plummeted by 60% over the last few decades. By simply incorporating more pollinator-friendly planting into your contemporary country garden, you are providing much-needed habitat while gaining the benefit of being surrounded by beauty.

"We were thrilled to win a Platinum Show Garden Award at the show, then we won Best Construction for the build and were over the moon... To then be called back on stage to receive the top award of Best Show Garden was unbelievable! We honestly couldn't have been happier".

Other elements in our Eco Oasis Show Garden include log piles for fungi and invertebrates. These habitats are often removed when trees are felled and fallen deadwood is cleared for safety, yet they are crucial for wildlife such as stag beetles, whose numbers have dropped significantly. Stag beetles are now classified as a protected species due to their declining population.

A honed stone bird bath surrounded by naturalistic planting design with ornamental grasses and flowering perennials

Bug hotels can also be a fun and attractive way to get children interested in nature and learn about the importance of caring for our native fauna. These simple structures provide shelter for a variety of beneficial insects, encouraging biodiversity in your garden.

Water conservation is becoming more important than ever, and if you own or aspire to build a contemporary country garden, it is wise to consider and plan for water management. Whether through storage, watering strategies, or awareness of surface water runoff, effective water management is crucial. Extensive hard landscaping can have negative effects on the environment, directing water away from gardens and into drains that lead directly to rivers, contributing to both flooding and drought.

a hornbeam hedge and naturalistic planting creates habitat which is enhanced by the bug hotel made from logs

In a natural process, water would soak into the ground and slowly make its way to water courses over time. By removing this process, we send water back to the sea much quicker than nature intended, contributing to lower water availability in the soil and reservoirs during drier months. Incorporating features like permeable paving, rain gardens, and water troughs can help mitigate these issues and ensure your contemporary country garden remains lush and sustainable year-round.

Please contact us via for an informal chat to discuss how we can work with you to create your naturalistic, contemporary country garden space.

Stay tuned for more tips and insights on creating your own eco-friendly, contemporary country garden!

Contemporary hard landscaping design with raised porcelain paving supporting the contemporary corten rill whihc feeds the central rain garden full of naturalistic perennial planting


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