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102 Cambridge Road

St. Albans

Contemporary space sympathetically redesigned in 2017 to keep as much of the existing plants, trees and shrubs in a 1930s semi’s garden. Modern take on the classic garden in two halves: ornamental and vegetable. All-year interest gabion borders packed with perennials and annuals, central bed featuring a pond and a mature Japanese maple.
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    Our contemporary garden planted in 2017 was sympathetically redesigned to keep as much of the existing plant, tree and shrub specimens in a 1930s semi-detached home’s back garden.

    We have retained the largely overgrown Viburnum Burkwodii, and the design had to change so that it could stay. It blooms in late winter/early spring and fills the garden with a sweet but light aroma. The birds use it as perch to sunbathe and dry after a bath in the summer and it provides shade for the Rhododendrons and Camelias. In autumn, it rewards us with a fiery display of red, orange and yellow leaves.

    The two mature bay trees are the bones of the garden and create the asymmetric rhythm that the rest of the garden follows. We use the leaves in cooking and enjoy the shade they offer in our sun-trap south-facing garden.

    The old ‘Golden Delicious’ apple tree treats us to a heavy crop every other year which we enjoy well into the winter. There was definitely an attempt to fan-train its crown when it was young but with age its branches became as calloused as an old gardener’s hands and resemble a giant clumsy sculpture in the winter. It comes to life every spring with the delicate white and pink blush blossom buzzing with bees hungry for nectar.

    The lollipop shape of the Flamingo Salix makes it a manageable size tree and fits in well in a round bed that was designed for it. It had to move two metres down the garden in an extremely dry winter and spring but it has survived and is now thriving in its new spot. Its early spring foliage really does resemble a flamingo’s plumage!

    The twinned Rhododendrons ‘Bow Bells’ were starved of light and space in the old garden. They now enjoy their new bed and offer a late spring display of large off-white bell-shaped flowers. Sit next to them on the gabion and you will hear the bees ringing the bells! Just like in the foxgloves, but a much clearer subtler buzz.

    And, of course, the main star of our garden (according to our visitors), is the magnificent mature Acer Palmatum. Its twisted trunk joins and splits and then joins again. Its crown forms a canopy over the pond, reflects in the water and provides shade for the frogs that inhabit the pond.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg – come along and guess which other plants we have saved! Some remained as cuttings, others were divided and rejuvenated and all have survived in pots while the landscapers were cutting wood, stone and pouring concrete.

    Now about the garden’s rejuvenation. We partnered with garden designer Linsey Evans who was not afraid of our challenge of ‘keeping as much of old as possible but creating contemporary’. She created a contemporary asymmetrical design dictated by some of the ‘much loved existing trees and shrubs’ and the central pond that has always been here, since the 1940s, we think. Then Linsey helped us to find the right landscaper who would let us do as much of the ground work ourselves as we wanted. Craig McGibbon was the perfect choice to realise our vision.

    And so it started!
    We have moved two large skips full of rubble and old DIY landscaping through the house. Then we spent a few months come rain or shine ‘digging to level’ for various new surfaces, beds foundations, bijou lawn and patio, potting on all the plants that we wanted to keep, drying and storing away the bulbs, taking cuttings and collecting seeds while still growing our vegetables!

    And if that was not enough, we processed and bagged tons of our own soil by hand! All stones were separated from the soil and reused for drainage in the new beds when the time came to fill them. It was important to us that no soil was removed from the site and no soil was brought it to keep the original plot’s balance. You will be surprised how much you can do yourself with a bit of determination!

    Once all the hard landscaping was done, we emptied all the blue bags of soil into the new beds, brought through the house about 4 tons of organic soil improver and started planting.

    A garden is never finished, they say, and even though we do say that our garden is finished now, we constantly experiment with new annuals and bulbs, different veg and fruit and finding new ways of gardening by trial and error. Our latest passion are the exotic plants or plants that look exotic but can cope with the UK climate.

    We grow all our vegetables and annuals from seed which gives us more choice and freedom as well as saves money. We garden organically, collecting ash from bonfires, creating our own tomato and plant feed and composting as much as we can being respectful to our neighbours in our densely populated neighbourhood. All is possible with care, respect and good planning! Come along to visit our garden and we will be pleased to share our experience and our garden stories with you!

Features and Attractions

All vegetables, annuals, and some perennials, grown from seed. 'Count the Frog' activity for children and young-at-heart.

Press and Media Coverage

Featured in Hertfordshire Life magazine, July 2018 issue.

102 Cambridge Road- Canceled

Refreshments:

On this day, this garden is open by arrangement, which means that you will have to contact the owner to arrange visits for groups.

Pre-booking essential, please go to our events page to book your tickets.

Admission by donation

Admission:
  • Adult:
  • Concessions:
  • Child:

On this day, this garden opens as part of .

Admission also gets you entry to this garden in the area:

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Click on any opening date on the calendar above to find details of entry times, entry price and to add the opening to your online calendar.

  • Regular opening
  • Open by arrangement only
  • Cancelled opening

This garden also makes a donation to Alzheimer's Society.

Owner Information

Anastasia & Keith
arezanova@gmail.com

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How to find us

102 Cambridge Road
St. Albans
Hertfordshire
AL1 5LG

Accessibility information

The garden features steps - there is no wheelchair access.

More about 102 Cambridge Road

Our contemporary garden planted in 2017 was sympathetically redesigned to keep as much of the existing plant, tree and shrub specimens in a 1930s semi-detached home’s back garden.

We have retained the largely overgrown Viburnum Burkwodii, and the design had to change so that it could stay. It blooms in late winter/early spring and fills the garden with a sweet but light aroma. The birds use it as perch to sunbathe and dry after a bath in the summer and it provides shade for the Rhododendrons and Camelias. In autumn, it rewards us with a fiery display of red, orange and yellow leaves.

The two mature bay trees are the bones of the garden and create the asymmetric rhythm that the rest of the garden follows. We use the leaves in cooking and enjoy the shade they offer in our sun-trap south-facing garden.

The old ‘Golden Delicious’ apple tree treats us to a heavy crop every other year which we enjoy well into the winter. There was definitely an attempt to fan-train its crown when it was young but with age its branches became as calloused as an old gardener’s hands and resemble a giant clumsy sculpture in the winter. It comes to life every spring with the delicate white and pink blush blossom buzzing with bees hungry for nectar.

The lollipop shape of the Flamingo Salix makes it a manageable size tree and fits in well in a round bed that was designed for it. It had to move two metres down the garden in an extremely dry winter and spring but it has survived and is now thriving in its new spot. Its early spring foliage really does resemble a flamingo’s plumage!

The twinned Rhododendrons ‘Bow Bells’ were starved of light and space in the old garden. They now enjoy their new bed and offer a late spring display of large off-white bell-shaped flowers. Sit next to them on the gabion and you will hear the bees ringing the bells! Just like in the foxgloves, but a much clearer subtler buzz.

And, of course, the main star of our garden (according to our visitors), is the magnificent mature Acer Palmatum. Its twisted trunk joins and splits and then joins again. Its crown forms a canopy over the pond, reflects in the water and provides shade for the frogs that inhabit the pond.

This is just the tip of the iceberg – come along and guess which other plants we have saved! Some remained as cuttings, others were divided and rejuvenated and all have survived in pots while the landscapers were cutting wood, stone and pouring concrete.

Now about the garden’s rejuvenation. We partnered with garden designer Linsey Evans who was not afraid of our challenge of ‘keeping as much of old as possible but creating contemporary’. She created a contemporary asymmetrical design dictated by some of the ‘much loved existing trees and shrubs’ and the central pond that has always been here, since the 1940s, we think. Then Linsey helped us to find the right landscaper who would let us do as much of the ground work ourselves as we wanted. Craig McGibbon was the perfect choice to realise our vision.

And so it started!
We have moved two large skips full of rubble and old DIY landscaping through the house. Then we spent a few months come rain or shine ‘digging to level’ for various new surfaces, beds foundations, bijou lawn and patio, potting on all the plants that we wanted to keep, drying and storing away the bulbs, taking cuttings and collecting seeds while still growing our vegetables!

And if that was not enough, we processed and bagged tons of our own soil by hand! All stones were separated from the soil and reused for drainage in the new beds when the time came to fill them. It was important to us that no soil was removed from the site and no soil was brought it to keep the original plot’s balance. You will be surprised how much you can do yourself with a bit of determination!

Once all the hard landscaping was done, we emptied all the blue bags of soil into the new beds, brought through the house about 4 tons of organic soil improver and started planting.

A garden is never finished, they say, and even though we do say that our garden is finished now, we constantly experiment with new annuals and bulbs, different veg and fruit and finding new ways of gardening by trial and error. Our latest passion are the exotic plants or plants that look exotic but can cope with the UK climate.

We grow all our vegetables and annuals from seed which gives us more choice and freedom as well as saves money. We garden organically, collecting ash from bonfires, creating our own tomato and plant feed and composting as much as we can being respectful to our neighbours in our densely populated neighbourhood. All is possible with care, respect and good planning! Come along to visit our garden and we will be pleased to share our experience and our garden stories with you!

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