The interiors of this glorious Georgian house in Somerset are very contemporary. The clients’ love for this contrast gave us a wonderful opportunity to respond by adding some very bold and contemporary garden elements to sit juxtaposed with the ancient, mellowed stone and finely crafted Georgian structure. Using lots of copper beech as square clipped pleached trees in the entrance courtyard for example, instantly brought a sense of modernity that pleached limes, or crab-apples for example would not have. Layering them over the dark sculptural forms of a cloud pruned box hedge, which frames the square cut structure of a modern knot garden, built up a textural base which is a wonderful backdrop and enclosure for placing our flowering plants. We’ve used the hierarchy of plants as indicators, the pleached copper beech of the entrance court, becoming pleached crab-apples over copper beech hedging, when framing the entrance to the kitchen garden and to the door at the back of the house; topiary yew at the main entrance as opposed to clipped deciduous and box topiary in the driveway areas. Against the balustraded curved wall, a palette of silvers and clarets with pale pink Rosa ‘Generous Gardener’, Geranium pratense ‘Summer Skies’ and slender spires of Salvia sylvestris ‘Serenade’ is a relaxed combination, a softener at the edges of the knot. In fact, everywhere we soften the structure with flowers, but where we might mix the palette of plants in a cottage garden, here we restricted the colour and variety to ensure the planting in the chippings and paving is as sophisticated and elegant as befits the house. In the cutting garden, the colours of the plants in the borders are repeated so that they carry through to the displays within the house.