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South Downs House featured in Gardens Illustrated photographed by Jason Ingram

Introductory spread in Gardens Illustrated

Gardens Illustrated recently featured eight pages on the South Downs House designed by James Wells for his own family home.

Whilst designing the new house James worked closely with Chris Moss in creating the new garden setting for the new build home.  This article was written by a local head gardener of a private garden in West Sussex – Benjamin William Pope.  Ben visited the house in early 2020 after it had been photographed a year before, in May 2019.  Ben comments, “As if hunkering down, the building is rooted in its location through the use of clever landscaping and considered planting”.  When James purchased the site it was an opportunity to upgrade and review what has been described as a quagmire of muddy fields.  The new build house sits as if in the centre of a compass with four distinct gardens on each side.  “To the north is the natural pool which takes centre stage, framed by an existing magnolia and mixed seasonal planting.  In the east sits a terrace and vegetable garden, offering the perfect location for morning coffee while checking over the various crops.”  This can all be seen in the spread below.

South Downs House photographed by Jason Ingram

North side of the garden

Ben continues, “To the west the garden slopes steeply to the lane below, giving access to the property and providing parking that is cleverly hidden from view. In all of these areas, the boundary planting is a combination of mature, deciduous trees and large evergreen hedges. They gently hug and enclose the property, making much of the garden feel private and secluded.”

South Downs house photographed by Jason Ingram

West side of the house showing path to front door

James and his wife Jo are very involved in the ongoing garden maintenance and both enjoy the sense of living in the landscape and seeing the changes of the seasons as well as living alongside their chickens.   James comments, “the desire to be in the South Downs National Park in what is essentially a fairly rural setting proved a wonderful escape from what was our busy London life. Moving here has been the perfect antidote to the hubbub of city living.”

One of the reasons for purchasing the site was to enjoy the view south to the hills.  Here Chris Moss has created a very simple, open garden with south facing lawn dropping away to the meadow beyond.  Chris explained, the view to the South is all about the Downs.

James has worked with Chris Moss on previous projects. Together, they relish the challenge of creating beautiful new buildings in stunning landscaped settings for their clients.

If you’re interested in escaping to the country and creating an award winning house and garden then do please use the form below to get in touch or call 01243 940020