Riverdance sits on a 27-acre site stretching along the river Thames, which was originally a trading post for goods transported by water. The house has a sweeping lawn overlooking the riverbank, a pond and natural stream, woodlands, grasslands, and formally structured gardens. The client has lived in the house for 40 years and wanted to give the grounds a new lease of life by breaking up the more formal areas so they could be enjoyed by her children and grandchildren.
RSL’s design teams vision included keeping the existing formal gardens but planting wilder-looking plants and grasses, reducing the hedgerows to open up views and connect the house to the wider landscape.
The existing stream was re-imagined as a gently meandering cascading waterway, with banks of aquatic, marginal planting and water lilies. Stone and timber bridges were built to provide romantic crossing points. Meanwhile, curved planting beds spill out onto the lawns overlooking the river, wrapping around the river frontage in sweeps of herbs and grasses. This now frames the house and provides greater connectivity with the wider landscape and the river, as well as achieving the clients desired need for improved privacy.
Sustainability is incredibly important to the team at RSL, we reintroduced over 100 of three new species of disease-resistant Dutch elm to Riverdance, as well as creating a log wall made out of clay cylinders as habitats for wildlife.