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With a humble hut at its heart, rediscovered garden design wins BALI National Landscape Award

Amy Brice

The Plankbridge shepherd’s hut within Anne Jennings’ garden design at a private residence in Chelsea, winner of a Design Excellence Award at the BALI National Landscape Awards.

The Plankbridge shepherd’s hut within Anne Jennings’ garden design at a private residence in Chelsea, winner of a Design Excellence Award at the BALI National Landscape Awards.

Draped in ivy, wildflowers and even a healthy covering of moss on the roof of a Plankbridge shepherd’s hut, a rediscovered garden design by Anne Jennings of Viridian Landscape Studio has won a Design Excellence Award in the BALI National Landscape Awards, for her work on a private residence in Chelsea. Created in the style of a once-forgotten family haven, the garden design includes a child’s playhouse from Dorset-based master hutmaker, Plankbridge, which has been lovingly entwined into the fabric of this magical space.

One of the landscape industry’s highest accolades, this award recognises the challenges that were faced in creating an outdoor scene that looks as though it has evolved over many years, coupled with the access limitations that are synonymous with city projects. Careful planning and close working relationships with suppliers, such as Plankbridge were essential and in order to overcome a 600mm side alley access issue, Plankbridge’s master craftsmen delivered the shepherd’s hut in panels, so that the playroom could be constructed on-site.

Anne Jennings, joint-director of Viridian Landscape Studio, explains;

“It was a challenging brief to create a romantic, magical space with the character of an old, rediscovered garden, so harmonious collaboration with suppliers such as Richard at Plankbridge was very important. I must say that out of all the manufacturers we approached, Richard had the most positive ‘can do’ attitude, from our need for a reduced size hut to the necessity for on-site construction. He was also very effective in working to our schedule and timescales, interpreting our requirements perfectly, right down to the distressed paintwork and helping in the selection of the right colour tones to achieve the desired effect.”

Richard Lee, founder and co-owner of Plankbridge, adds;

“It’s such a rewarding experience working closely with creative garden designers like Anne and we would like to congratulate her on this richly deserved award. Plankbridge was born when my partner, Jane Dennison, and I first discovered and restored a Victorian shepherd’s hut, so it is always interesting to come at a project from the reverse angle and create something that looks weathered by many years from entirely new materials. The hut in Chelsea is so at home within the beautiful outdoor escape designed by Anne and, for us, the playroom it is a perfect visual representation of the once forgotten shepherd’s hut now coming alive in the modern world, in so many different ways.”

A standard Plankbridge Classic Shepherd’s Hut, complete with painted windows and door (optional upgrade to English oak), a solid French oak floor and a Farrow & Ball painted interior, starts at £22,225.20 including VAT and measures 12' long. Longer and bespoke designs can be quoted for.

The rediscovered garden design has also been shortlisted in the Society of Garden Designers Awards, in both the Small Residential Garden and People’s Choice categories. The overall winner will be announced in January.

For more information about Plankbridge Hutmakers visit www.plankbridge.com.

More information about Viridian Landscape Studio can be found at www.viridian.uk.com