By Sarah Wood | Tuesday, 23 May 2023
The verdant landscape that surrounds each Quince property has been as curated and cared for just like the properties themselves. With each holiday home we tend to ground ourselves to the outdoors and consider who will be coming to enjoy them. Will it be families looking for a vast space of flat grass for games, or green thumbed wanderers that are looking for external inspiration?
When we find our latest project, founder Sarah Wood and chief garden designer Posy Gentles meet on site and walk together throughout the topography and imagine the memories that can be made. Posy then wanders around the surrounding area to see what is growing well in other gardens and pots. Leaning on inspiration from neighbours can always be a useful tool to see what thrives in the environment and what has the best chance of blooming in each season. Part of Quince’s vision is to enhance each environment and with this is mind, planting trees and shrubs in the gardens is key to the design. So far we have planted over 100 trees, good for our guests, good for the environment. And it doesn’t stop there, we add more each year to our houses.
With three properties within the Chimney Nature Reserve and 13 acres of grounds Sarah and Posy had many aspects to consider when looking at the garden designs for The Roebuck’s Rose, The Lock Keeper’s Snipe and The Owl’s Barn..
When they began there were hardly any garden areas for each barn as the area was mostly taken up with parking. The first thing was to ban the cars from the three enclosed courtyards to the front of each property and turn them into gardens. This not only gave a beautiful aspect from each barn but also ensure the safety of the guests. While The Lock Keepers Snipe is more sophisticated and alluring with its sunken dining area, we have made The Roebuck’s Rose more charming due to its large grassed space, perfect for children, and its romantic climbing rose that covers an entire external wall. For The Owl’s Barn we wanted to create more emphasis on the courtyard. As you are surrounded by the wider nature reserve and water meadows, Sarah did not want to detract from this by heavily planting. Instead we added raised beds, which are less distracting to the view across the water meadows, and do not deter our resident Owl that flies at dawn and dusk across the fields and lower gardens.
The main focus for these gardens was to ensure whatever will grow there will not be eaten by the local wildlife, and if it was, it would not harm them. Considering the local deer is key when planting at our converted barns and with preferences of plants, we needed to understand what they do and do not like. For example, we can plant beautiful blooming roses within the courtyards of each property, however, if we planted these in the gardens, they would be eaten!
Luckily, we were able to plant the beautiful Amelanchier bushes that the deer are not so keen on, but we absolutely love. They tend to flower in the spring and are beautifully fragrant throughout the summer months. As we try not to be too intrusive for guests during their stay, we often plant flora that will naturally spread. Our favourite is Erigeron which look like small daisies and they flower throughout the summer
We have merged the car parking into one area and planted lavender which gives a French chateau feel whilst discouraging the deer who don’t like it. With plenty of space for all Chimney Farm Barn visitors there is room for five cars per barn with a shared electric car charging port.
With our latest addition to the property portfolio, Penty on the Hoo is unlike our other holiday homes. While it is a five minute walk to the high street and seaside, there is not a large exterior to redesign. As Penty on the Hoo had an established garden that was not in keeping with its new guise, Posy has worked her magic and made our Aldeburgh property reflect a true Quince garden. Having cleverly added in two seating areas with planting in between, Posy has made a compact garden feel private yet open, a perfect example of how best to present a small garden.
Much like The Owl’s Barn, The Coding Hut is encompassed by greenery and nature and so we did not want the gardens to take away from the beauty that has naturally grown around the property. The gardens at The Coding Hut will be low key and understated while all in keeping with the woodland setting.
As a natural interior designer, Quince’s founder Sarah has always had a keen eye for aesthetics and colour. Collaborating with chief garden designer Posy has meant that each Quince property has beauty and practicality at the forefront. And let us not forget that no Quince garden would be complete without the iconic, outdoor, copper bathtub.