The garden at Spurfold is so beautifully put together that it comes as no surprise to discover the owners Anne and Anthony Barnes are both commercial interior designers. Verdant striped lawns and immaculate borders are resplendent in shades of green and splashes of harmonious colour.
Since the couple moved to the property in 1990, they have gradually created a stunning garden that makes the most of the sloping site. They added a formal sunken topiary parterre garden and water features. Swathes of lawns are enhanced by densely planted shrub and herbaceous borders. Terraces extending out on three sides of the house are designed to follow the sun, with areas to sit out from breakfast through to dinner.
With its acidic soil, azaleas, rhododendrons and acers thrive. Many of the shrubs are neatly clipped in spherical forms in the beds, making a great juxtaposition to the geometry of the sunken parterre by the house.
- Character of garden: Located in the Surrey Hills AONB and surrounded by woodland on all sides, it includes formal areas with topiary, split-level terraces, and dining areas
- Size: 2.5 acres of garden, plus two acres of woodland
- Aspect: East, south and west
- Soil: Acidic, free-draining
- Period of house: 1930s
- Owners: Anne and Anthony Barnes, since 1990
- Visiting: Opens through the NGS, visits by arrangement May to August. Spurfold, Peaslake, Surrey GU5 9SZ
Advice on designing a garden
- Work with the contours of the land but do draw a plan and even use materials to mark it out and have a good look at the spaces
- Creating level areas on a sloping site makes for useable rooms
- Clip some of the shrubs to give a clear distinction from the wildness of the surrounding woodland
- Don’t overlook the power of green in the garden, with the array of different shades
- Use layered planting – trees, climbers, shrubs, herbaceous to groundcovers
- Consider the passage of the sun through the day to provide sunny and shady spots to sit out
- Decorate with sculptural features to lead the eye or punctuate a space