07903 589869

Secluded woodland garden in Herts

This spacious yet secluded Hertfordshire garden includes a 85m2 area on a steep slope, with a dominant oak tree in its centre. Although surrounded by trees, the hill faces roughly south and so enjoys plenty of dappled sunshine. The clients wanted an area where they could sit and relax – with Japanese-influenced planting, a hanging egg chair was on order, and which would give them a attractive view from the house. There was also the small matter of the need to screen the heating unit for the swimming pool, which sits looking like a lost R2-D2 at the foot of the slope.

Stone steps

We designed and created a pathway through the garden, using natural Yorkstone slabs roughly 1m wide to create steps up into the wooded area and stepping stones down the other side to enable access to the heating unit and the area behind the garden sheds. HOS Landscapes installed the steps and paths, and flattened out some of the steeper parts of the garden to facilitate planting and seating areas. HOS also installed the 3-sided screen, from Stark & Greensmith’s corten steel range which disguises the pool unit while providing an interesting backdrop for planting.


The egg chair sits at the top of the hill, giving a view over the garden back to the house. We also designed and built the rustic bench, which gives the clients another viewpoint over the pool and lawn.


The planting design started with some specimen Acer palmatum trees, Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’, and Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-Mai’, to bring interesting forms and lots of good autumn colour to the bed. The shaped Taxus baccata balls add structure to the different areas of the garden, which also includes azaleas and Magnolia x Loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ for spring colour, and Liriope muscari and Hakonechloa macra in the shadier areas for colour and shape.

A Viburnum tinus hedge was planted against the rear fence, and climbers including Clematis armandii ‘Snowdrift’, Clematis urophylla ‘Winter Beauty’, and Trachelospermum jasminoides clothe the fence to the side for winter and summer flowers respectively.

Other finishing touches in this garden included the new lawn, laid by HOS Landscapes and edged with low Euonymus japonicus ‘Jean Hugues’ hedging, and the specimen olive and citrus trees in large containers around the pool. A series of pleached Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ were planted behind the pool to give additional privacy.

Outdoor shower and WC

We also designed and built the bespoke outdoor shower and toilet sited on the existing terrace, built using cedar battens on a timber frame by HOS Landscapes.