Within a few years of buying Urchfont Manor in 2013, Chris Legg and Eleanor Jones, with the help of a friend, landscape architect Paul Gazerwitz, had given their home a new vista that unites house and garden, as well as evoking the formal Baroque of the house’s late-17th-century past.
Their aim was to balance historical integrity with the development of a new garden. Continuity would be kept by preserving the garden’s bones, such as the walled garden and the fine trees beyond open lawn to the south and east. Work began on the rectangular walled kitchen garden.
The architecture on this side of the house is engagingly uneven and this is picked up in the new garden, which is neat and formal, but appropriately domestic in scale. The kitchen garden has been laid out afresh, with 16 rectangular patches divided by narrow gravel paths and with a square of four greengages in the centre. Crops are rotated and, every year, one bed celebrates an unusual plant, such as borlotti beans or root ginger. Elsewhere are nurtured asparagus and strawberry beds and a fruit cage with raspberries and gooseberries.