Victorian Gate Lodge, East Lothian
**Gallery update – new photos added July 2023**
The brief from the owners was simple – make it beautiful! They wanted their tired garden transformed into a tranquil and relaxing natural space that linked to the surrounding countryside and welcomed the local wildlife.
Following the removal of the overgrown shrubs and supporting the mature trees, we discovered some hidden gems in the form of stone walls, stone pillars, ancient fruit trees and an existing pond that was on the verge of collapse. Retaining these existing structural elements in the grounds helped to inform the design process.
The addition of multiple seating areas and new larger, perennial planting beds allowed for individual garden rooms. We linked these areas with various paths – bark for the woodland areas, wide grass paths between the lawn patios and sandstone pavers with a cobble edging by the lodge.
After the discovery of a covered 3-metre deep well in the back garden it was decided to create a new garden feature from it. The hard landscaping elements for the new well feature included brick and cedar and was built by Struan.
A bespoke timber pergola and gates at the garden entrance, and a new timber living roof and door for the old stone shed were all built by our skilled craftsman Lee. An Urbis lily bowl and planted mortar bowls also add some more features to the garden.
The main feature in the centre of the front lawn is the new wildlife pond and natural stone cascade. Designed and built by Stuart, it looks as if it has always been there, and invites you to relax on the lawn watching the dragonflies skim over the pond, while listening to the gentle sound of the cascade.
The grey sandstone used around the lodge, as well as the Moonstone ornamental gravel, picks up the tones and textures of the building, and gives it a fresh look.
The plantings are a mix of hardy perennials, grasses and ferns. Blues, purples, reds and hints of yellow give a long colourful season, starting in spring and carrying on until the first frosts. Even during winter, the structure of the grasses and flower heads will give interest. Wild flower turf was used around the rear of the property to soften the utility areas and link the new beech hedges and lawns to the wider countryside.
The new bespoke outer gates were expertly designed, built and installed by Steelcraft Welding & Fabrication and finish off the project perfectly.
Garden Design by Heath Urquhart, Water Gems
Pond Design by Stuart Booth, Water Gems