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Garden Design and Landscape Cornwall Looe Hannafore

Cliff edge garden

(Click on any of the images on this page to see a larger version in a new window)


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Celebration of Natural Stone Occurrence

The storm-powered high-travel west winds bring rain to the farmland and moor, dumping salt that burns seaward facing tree buds. Buds grow away from the salt in the lee of the wind landwards, thus trees grow bent over high on the moor. The wind balls and uplifts against moor, passing over Looe and on towards lands to the east. Its overhead travel can be heard below in the still, calm air, over the farmland, heath, and Rock Ledge.

Gorse and grass heath land lie immediately behind the garden, with farmland lying between the heath and the moor, beyond the salt reach to the west and northwest. Grasses and tough plants survive in the steep fissured cross slope of the higher garden, and the distinctive stone on the main ridge shows up strongly without plants in this full scale rural landscaping.

The large photograph highlights the addition of the stone wall built square and in contrast to the angle off the natural stone formation face in the immediate stone face foreground, highlighting the larger natural stone formation behind. New stone walls continue the immediate theme built with slight curves to change the wall face angle behind the large stone formation.


Distinctive natural stone in the garden



Stone outcrops, shown on the garden survey surrounded by grass, had a tendency to dry out every summer and proved unsatisfactory in the garden. 



Stone outcrops





Topsoil and grass removed to expose natural rock





The topsoil and grass were removed down to bare rock, and low stonewalls were built and filled with soil, forming low beds. The low walls were aligned crossways to the garden's main backbone, exposing and picking up interesting stepped and fractured rock variations.


Low walls aligned across the garden





Interesting stepped and fractured rock variations

In the foreground the man made concrete step path runs angled in sympathy to the angle of the large natural stone formation above and behind. The man made stone wall above cuts at a right angle with a seat set on the same angle set level to the top of the slope. Plants positions are controlled by their roots into the rock below ground angle, more soil depth allows larger plants.



New paths were formed, with steps giving access to the original concrete slab path from the main house to the vegetable garden. The greenhouse was relocated and reduced in size, and a small orchard was formed above the highest, slightly sloping, fractured fissured rock face backing the shrub and flower garden. Approximately fifty tons of soil was dug out by hand, and skipped off site in the first garden adjustment alone.

The rock and stone mulch is an integral part of the garden, and gives ground shelter for low-growing plants, the structural variations breaking the wind by friction between the wind and rough stone surfaces, decreasing wind speed and promoting surface convergence and uplift. The ground membrane, gravel, and plant cover blend in with some plants and contrast with others. One original small lawn lies intermediary between slopes, where the rock holds up heavy rainfall and allows it to flow into cracks and clefts.



Low-growing plants protected by rock and stone mulch

An original stone wall


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