An oasis of tranquility in a Worsley garden
PUBLISHED: 01:16 07 May 2012 | UPDATED: 21:22 20 February 2013
Tranquility and style are the secret ingredients for this Worsley garden – plus a lot of hard work. Linda Viney reports
The print version of this article appeared in the May 2012 issue of Lancashire Life
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In a quiet suburb of Worsley, lies an oasis of style and tranquility. This is home to Richard Waxman and his family.
Today, the garden is a picture of elegance and skilful planting, but that wasnt always the case. The first area to be tackled when company chief Richard arrived was the front garden where steps lead down from the house to a large pond with marginal planting, backed by trees which provide privacy.
However, the whole garden is a journey round the world with open and private areas blending together and plants and style drawn from many influences and continents. Richard is passionate about his garden and works very closely with Bill Ridings, who has designed and constructed the site over several years.
Machinery was used to dig out the square front lawn and create a large pond and the soil was built up around to give height for a waterfall. A secret sheltered path leads round the back of the pond, ukperfect for shade-loving plants.
A variety of conifers, acers and rhododendrons add colour and shape and huge rocks, from a quarry in Accrington, had to be brought up from the drive by hand.
Marginal planting softens the perimeter and the house reflects in the water. You could not wish for a more peaceful area to transport yourself from the hustle and bustle of nearby Manchester.
As you move round the side of the house, a wisteria is trained up one wall and round the French doors. The other side is a very sheltered, hidden place with seating and completely enclosed with evergreens, rhododendrons and bamboo. A statue stands adjacent to a palm which is surrounded by strategically placed rocks. From here a small stream leads out into the main back garden with a rockery where a small rhododendron tumbles down over the rocks. Weeping birch trees add softness.
The rear was dominated by a tennis court. I called in Bill as he had landscaped the front, says Richard. The first task was to bring in contractors with a digger to clear the area and hundreds of tons of soil was brought in. I couldnt believe how much. It seemed like weeks of work just to get a blank canvas. I worked rather unsuccessfully doing a graph whereas Bill has everything in his head.
A steep bank was smoothed and drainage installed. The conifers which had surrounded the tennis court were replanted. Bill does not like flat and together they have succeeded in creating a lovely picture out of what was level ground.
Bill placed the beds to get relief in the landscape and created contours to the left of the garden and included various seating areas. A gazebo stands on hexagonal paving and planted pots stand at the base of each post. A wisteria is trained over it and a Buddha sits at the centre. Steps adjacent to curved stone walls with plants tumbling over lead up from the patio to a path circling the immaculate lawn. Richard is very proud of his lawn and has even been seen on hands and knees cutting round the edge of the island bed with a pair of large scissors. He gives it as much attention to detail as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens.
A clipped hedge forms the rear boundary and three circular beds are well planted with cone shaped conifers giving height alongside shrubs and low lying plants. The land has been left slightly undulating to soften the starkness. Mature trees surrounding the plot are another dimension although they are borrowed from next door. Steamer chairs on a paved area in a far corner which is a sun trap where a palm growing alongside adds a tropical feel while the weeping tree gives softness.
Water always adds more tranquility and here a stream edged in stone meanders through. A cherry tree is trained against the brick wall of the garage as is a vine which will hides the brickwork. By making full use of different surfaces from grass, stone, gravel and pebbles, each one adds its own individuality. This is a large garden but each area could be downsized for a much smaller area. Gardens should flow and this one has everything you could wish for.
Bill started life on leaving school as an apprentice working first in Rochdale Parks and Gardens before moving to Oldham, then to private work before starting up his own business built up by word of mouth.
He isnt afraid of challenges and is incredibily passionate about his work. He strives for perfection. Clients sometimes need gentle persuasion, he says with a glint in his eye. There is no doubt he and Richard have created a masterpiece.