Thomas Hoblyn is starting a landscaping project at Peterhouse. The project will make use of Cambridge’s unique micro-climate, increasing the ecological diversity of the gardens.
The University of Cambridge college appointed the award-winning Bury St Edmunds-based landscape and garden designer “to redesign Cosin Court, to open up the gardens and create a series of courtyard gardens with a sustainable scheme”.
Thomas Hoblyn Garden Design practice is based in a 400-year-old converted barn at Tom’s property in the Suffolk countryside. He and the team have space to create, and use the walled garden to trial and experiment new ideas and designs.
The team is a group of designers and landscape architects collaborating to create landscapes and gardens.
For the Peterhouse project, the practice pitched for the work.
“Two others were asked also,” Thomas explains. “This was back in November 2019 and I found out that I’d won shortly before Christmas.
“Once we get past the planning stage, it will be full-time for two of us with occasional input from others. There will be a need for specialist consultants also. This include a structural engineer, ecologist, drainage consultant etc.”
The launch of the work is being delayed by the pandemic, of course.
“The plan was to have the main courtyard garden completed this year,” noted Thomas, who has some primary creative aims.
“Health and wellbeing for the users and a sustainable way for treating these college spaces are the main reasoning for these gardens,” he says. “I want to set an example for how these spaces can be used.
“The whole idea of capturing rainwater and using it not only for irrigation but to provide a calming water feature is new and exciting territory for me. Cambridge’s unique micro-climate allows for some exciting possibilities of never-been-seen-before planting combinations.
“The main courtyard is very geometric to align with the surrounding architecture. But the outlying parts will be quite wild and naturalistic speared by a cloister-like pergola. We plan to use sustainable materials where possible.
“The scheme will be very inviting, encouraging students to use the space not only for study but also provide a safe and relaxing space. Noise from water, encouraging wildlife, fragrance, colour – all these things will help.”