Located on a river in the backwaters of Kerala this property is a family homestead. The landscape plays host to a collection of buildings, connecting them with their relatively wild surroundings characterised by canals, groves of coconut and bettlenut palms and stands of mature mango trees. Working closely with the internationally recognised architectural practice Studio Mumbai the aim here was to create a calm and more controlled version of the surrounding natural environment. It is not a garden as such and there was a very conscious effort to avoid the landscape having a resort-like quality.
A vast water tank was introduced into the middle of the site connected to the river along the eastern boundary of the property by newly excavated canals. The tank helps to relieve flooding during the monsoon season while the excavated material was used to raise areas of the property that were previously submerged during the monsoon. Varieties of local gingers, bamboo, philodendrons and heliconias have been used to create a dense planted boundary to the property. Vast swathes of local ferns propagated from the site are planted among leaf anthirium, hedychium, spider lily and crinums around the main house and pool buildings. Throughout the remaining open areas of the site more fruit trees and palms have been planted to succeed the existing mature fruit trees on this former agricultural plot. The garden was built over three years, with the first phase of planting taking place in 2011.
The garden was designed by Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd while Andy worked with the practice, Andy's role was the lead landscape architect.