Houses need to be flat. Usually. 

It can cause a knock on problem if the owner decides to build the house on a hill. It means that there is a slope that needs to dealt with in a cunning and interesting way. Take this one: nice flat house and a ruddy great hill overshadowing everything. The solution, as with so many things in life, is to plant stuff. 

My plan was to have three sets of steps that would sashay gently through deep borders until you reached the field. 

The first set goes from a gravelly terrace (lots of California poppies) up to a stone path. Set two runs through a deep border stuffed with perennials (amongst roses, cardoons and yews) to emerge on a flat lawn. Finally, set three leads from the lawn through a shrubbier planting to pop up by the gate through a beech hedge. 

To the side of the garden is what we call the Bouleodrome (or Bouleangerie if you prefer) which is basically a fleet of box balls that look as if they have been released from a giant hand and are tumbling down the hill towards the distant countryside.

The garden was featured in Gardens Illustrated in June 2018 with photographs by Rachel Warne.