The Garden Plan
The proposed plan for the garden of Chedham's Yard has been completed by Ringrose & England. You can download the plan in full using the links to the right, or move your mouse over the map below.
The double gates to the side of the proposed ticket office will be constructed of horizontal boarding to mirror the ticket office. The hard landscaping will be river cobbles with a brick edge to seperate from the existing gravel drive.
Surfacing of the Yard
On entering the Yard, the idea is that the visitor follows the main path to the Teaching Centre where they will be met by a guide who then brings them back to the workshop area for an accompanied tour.
The main path is surfaced using reclaimed blue brick. This was thought to be the most practical and sympathetic material bearing in mind the usage requirements of the site.
However, to adhere to the correct archaeological treatment of the yard, the brick will fade out towards the buildings and fence and be replaced by river cobbles and limestone fragments. These will be bound together with a lime mortar then consolidated and rolled to provide a hard wearing surface. It is suggested that on the interface between the brick and the cobbles, the bricks are fixed on a stronger mortar bed to provide a more stable edge.
There is also a permanent fruit and herb garden incorporating a bird bath. The vegetable patch is divided into five areas by compacted soil paths. The five areas are to be used for the rotation of annual vegetables including runner beans on hazel sticks. Two permanent espaliers are grown on a reinforced wire mesh in front of the wall retaining the coverage of ivy, if possible, but keeping it trimmed. A scarecrow is placed to provide a point of interest and maybe an iron chicken sculpture to reflect the children's wishes.
There is also a permanent fruit and herb garden incorporating a bird bath.
A willow arbour makes an interesting feature in the picnic area. It is created from slices cut from a large tree sitting on several upright logs and surrounded by a living, woven willow arbour.
Two further picnic benches are placed here along with a beehive shaped bin requested by the school children during the design consultation process. The grass is kept short.
An old cart or other Chedham's artefact is the main feature in this area. A wood corral for timber offcuts, reflecting an original structure as seen in an old photo, sits behind the forge entrance. The grass is left uncut and foxgloves and moon daisies along with other wild flowers are encouraged
A hazel is grown here with the intention that when it has matured, it can be coppiced to provide sticks for the vegetable patch. Box would have been grown traditionally for tool handles and grows well in the shade. Leading into this area is a simple hooped iron arch with iron mesh sides to support climbers such as honeysuckle and nasturtium.
Pathway to Teaching Centre
The pathway continues the use of the river cobbles, consolidated and rolled as above. It is recommended that the outer cobbles are fixed on a stronger mortar mix to form a stable edge. The grass track down the centre of the path helps it to look as though it may have been used by a cart in times past. The path is wide enough to provide wheelchair access.
Bird and bat boxes exist throughout the site already and can be supplemented where necessary.
The theme of native planting is continued as can be seen by the planting suggestions above. Log piles, compost bins and undisturbed areas provide ideal habitats for wildlife. Hedgehog boxes and bird baths were great ideas suggested by the school children. Access to the back of the Teaching Centre is restricted, not only due to safety issues but also to provide more undisturbed habitat. Pesticides and herbicides should not be used due to their detrimental effect on wildlife.
The River Dene originally ran near the bottom of the site and was used to quench the hot iron used in the tyring process. To represent the river, a bog garden has been included. It will be fed rainwater by a basic irrigation system collected from the Teaching Centre.
A perforated membrane beneath the soil will aid water retention for the bog garden. It is understood that this area is also to be used as a soak away. This can be constructed beneath the membrane with an overflow facility in the bog garden.
Local river bank plants will be planted including loosestrife, carex, marsh marigold and flowering rush. Three willows are planted to represent the river edge. These will require pollarding yearly to restrict
their size. The fence here is disguised by a living willow hedge. Ivy is encouraged on the fence itself for winter screening.
Water butts are scattered throughout the site as indicated on the plan. These would probably have been old barrels.
Fruit trees are on semi dwarf root stock due to the constrictions of the site. They are underplanted with some of the existing flora saved by the 'friends' as well as snowdrops, primroses and bluebells. There is a mown path through the orchard. The area also contains a compost, log pile and bird bath.
The Tyring platform becomes the focal point of the outside demonstration area. It is circular shaped to represent the wheel. Blue brick segments form the circle with cobble strips to represent the spokes. It is flanked by two rustic style benches that can be moved and stored elsewhere if required.