A Heritage Lottery funded restoration in Clifton, Bristol, Nicola Greaves Design played a key role in helping secure funding for this historically significant project. The Palladian mansion and walled garden, now part of University of Bristol, was originally designed by Sir Isaac Ware for a wealthy shipping merchant. The new landscape design retains the core philosophy of the original whilst transforming it into a usable space for the 21st century.
Ware favoured the relaxed look of an Arcadian wilderness – woodland groupings of varying tree species, use of water, informal plantings – but underpinned with a formal structural design based on the shape of a sextant, reflecting his client’s occupation. In the updated design, planted areas, mown strips through meadow and curved paths reflect the sextant shape, whilst a wildlife pond enriches the ecology. Relaxed hazel hurdles demarcate winding woodland walks and plantings reflect Ware’s philosophy.
The design intent is to be inspired by the original layout whilst creating a wholly contemporary garden that provides educational opportunities, becomes an exhibition space for local artists and invites the community in to experience a magnificent local amenity.