tree research

Soho Farmhouse article by Charlie Noton

Dezeen Magazine recently published a great article on the transformation of Soho Farmhouse, for which we were the key contractor for tree planting. Being an architecture and design magazine, they missed the REALLY important bit: the transformation of the landscape! Read on for the inside scoop on the outside story.

Soho Farmhouse was transformed in just 15 months, from a derelict farmhouse with a collection of outhouses, to the newest of the Soho Houses – luxurious but laid back urban and rural hideaways and exclusive members' clubs.

Central to the Farmhouse is the ‘farmyard’, a central courtyard around which many of the buildings sit. The planting design of this area was based on a historic working French courtyard, with mature fruit trees chosen to soften the expanse of stonework, and to provide a sense of the farmhouse having been there for decades.

The trees were carefully chosen from nurseries in Belgium and Germany and were picked for their wealth of character, strength of presence and age.  We included fruit trees ranging in age from fifty to seventy-five years old, and a large evergreen oak that would provide shade and greenery throughout the year.

Lifting and preparation of veteran pear tree, bound for the main courtyard at Soho Farmhouse

Planting of the main feature tree, an evergreen oak, in the central courtyard

We also planted the orchard, which provides the principal view for the farmhouse restaurant and is beautifully lit-up at night. For this, we used mature and semi-mature trees, with a mix of heirloom varieties that give a feel of a well- established orchard that can provide fruit for the hotel kitchens.