Introducing Cara Sutherland: A Garden Transformation in the Heart of the Cotswolds

12th Jun 2024

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of the Cotswolds, Cara Sutherland's ambitious garden renovation project has beautifully blended her home's interior aesthetic with the natural beauty of its surrounding outdoor space. From the simplicity of her floral borders to the carefully chosen Garden Trading products that have added both functionality and flair, Cara has created a sanctuary that not only enhances her lifestyle but also serves as a perfect extension of one seriously stylish abode! Read on to discover the secrets behind her garden refurbishment that made this modern country oasis possible…

Cara, what inspired you to renovate your garden, and what vision did you have in mind from the start?

After living in this house for two years, we had a clear understanding of our garden's potential and how it interacted with the house. We noticed the sunny spots and envisioned an inviting outdoor dining space that seamlessly extends our home's modern country aesthetic into the garden.

Can you walk us through the design and planning process? Did you work with a designer or take a DIY approach?

We embraced a complete DIY approach. I drew inspiration from Pinterest, gardening magazines, and social media platforms like Instagram. One idea that really stood out was painting the fences black to create a backdrop that makes the plants pop. Given the sunny corner of our garden, Annabelle Hydrangeas seemed like the perfect choice, especially since they are my favourite flowers.

What are some of your favourite plants or features in your garden, and why did you choose these elements?

I prefer simplicity in planting, so we created a uniform border of hydrangeas – an obvious choice given my fondness for them – but also because they perfectly fitted the bill for this space! Over time, they will grow to encircle the dining area, providing a soft, lush look.

Were there any challenges or surprises during the renovation process, and how did you overcome them?

It’s been labour of love; we completed every conceivable task ourselves during the revamp - from removing concrete to laying a patio – so lots of new skills were developed over the course of this journey! One oversight was not planning for year-round interest. As autumn approaches, I'm considering adding some ornamental grasses to maintain visual appeal throughout the year.

How has your garden renovation impacted your lifestyle and daily routine? Are there any special events or everyday activities you’re now really looking forward to?

Our renovated garden has transformed our lifestyle, allowing us to host friends and family comfortably. BBQs are a particular favourite, especially since my husband takes over the cooking, giving me a chance to relax and enjoy the evenings.

Can you share any tips or advice for others considering a garden renovation?

Plan everything out meticulously. Online resources offer planting and border guides tailored to sun exposure and soil type, which I found invaluable. When visiting a garden centre, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so I recommend sticking to a few plant varieties and repeating them for a cohesive look.

How did you choose the Garden Trading products that now feature in your external space, and how have they enhanced the functionality and aesthetics of your garden?

Garden Trading's aesthetic perfectly matched our vision. Having trusted their quality for years, we confidently selected their products to furnish our revitalised garden! The chairs in our external dining area are not only beautiful but also durable and extremely comfortable, making our outdoor space perfect for long, leisurely meals with friends. Even our picky cat approves, having claimed them as his new favourite nap spot!

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