Soft Landscaping at The University of Creative Arts, Farnham

Mike Nowick, Contracts Manager at Nigel Jeffries Landscapes, outlines how he approached designing the soft landscaping for the new accommodation block at The University of Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey.

In early 2017, The University of Creative Arts, an existing grounds maintenance customer, asked us to design the soft landscaping for a new accommodation block.

The south and west sides of the accommodation block
On visiting the site, I found that the areas to the west and south, which had been allocated for soft landscaping, were very restricted in terms of width and depth and as such, were not suitable for the planting of trees. One further restricting factor was their close proximity to the walls (and foundations) of the building.

Naturally, these factors influenced my design and I chose to make use of 2m high Square Steel Obelisks for vertical interest, underplanted with Tracheospermum jasminoides which are evergreen, fragrant and will grow up and into the Obelisks, thus softening their impact.

The eastern side of building
On the eastern side of the building, the area to be planted was larger and deeper than the south and west areas. This area was on the same level as the existing adjacent car-parking area and approximately 1m higher than the paved walkway around the building and separated by a retaining wall.

In this area, I chose to use pleached Ilex Trees, which are approximately 2.4m high, evergreen and will make an immediate visual impact, without taking up too much space. For groundcover, I made use of Pachysandra terminalis, which is evergreen, throughout all of the planted areas.

The overall effect is evergreen, in keeping with the architectural look of the building and comparatively low-maintenance.

If you wish to discuss soft landscaping design, please do get in touch with us at Nigel Jeffries Landscapes.  We would be delighted to hear from you. We cover Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Middlesex