The Cube Office Garden

The Site

In small town gardens the concept of shakkei, the borrowing of the landscape, is often not possible. Instead the majority of the time we are often finding ourselves deleting unsightly objects from view. As was the case with this lovely walled space. The garden is adjacent to the carpark of a large ugly office building situated in the heart of Wimbourne town. Thus screening was inevitable and achieved using horizontal panels.

We were lucky enough to have 40 or more years of tree growth to enclose the space. Including a bay, yew a majestic horse chestnut and a magnificent magnolia. As you can imagine these trees cast a constraining shade on the garden. Although rather than seeing the shaded areas as being problematic it created an exciting opportunity to use many of the shade loving plants available which bring individuality to the garden.


Designed around a basic cube that had been dissected, dismantled then pieced back together the blank canvas began to take more of an interesting 3 dimensional view. Although attempted, I did not want to make the design any more complex than this, as the simplicity of a cube seemed a snug fit into the garden and design brief.

The planting

Naturally, cool blues and pastel colours was the initial image pictured in my mind for the, calm and peaceful planting scheme. Although as the garden began to take shape my client and I decided upon using an all white planting scheme against the black hue of the woodwork. What better way to create a tranquil scene than white nodding heads glowing in the dusk of shade and the odd flower head beaming as it catches the rays breaking through the tree canopy. The effect has proven to be dramatic and as these plants establish, I know we are going to have a stunning display.