Garden Flower Trowel


Structural reinforcement, sensitive logistical management and the creation of charming details all came into play for this exciting project for St Mary’s School in Calne.

In bringing designer Sally Harley-Martin’s vision to life, we’ve transformed a plain, flat playing field into a unique, tranquil feature garden that pupils, staff and parents can enjoy. Inspiring sculptures represent the school’s aspirations and ethos, while the Japanese style cedar pavilion that we’re currently developing will provide a welcoming sheltered meeting point and space for outdoor learning.

Client's View

“The new garden at St Mary’s is part of our Shaping the Future programme – bringing to life one of it’s core values of providing an inspiring academic environment for our pupils. Created by garden designer and St Mary’s Calne parent, Sally Harley-Martin, the garden has been fully sponsored by parents and friends. At a time when wellbeing has become more important than ever, we feel very fortunate to have such a special place available to all in our school community.

“As well as being a haven for pupils to study, relax and play, the Lime Kiln Garden has proved to be a perfect setting for music and entertaining, with wonderful performances taking place amongst the bubbling water features and beautiful bronze sculptures by Anna Bromiley.

“The garden has quickly become a much-loved part of the school. We’d like to thank every who has contributed to this inspirational project.”


St Mary’s School,

Architect's View

“My brief was to design a multi-purpose green heart for St Mary’s school, with social spaces and quiet places – where the pupils could play or learn or just enjoy fresh air and nature. It was also to be a charming venue for events and entertaining.

“With a new road, sunken garden, water features, local stone walls and bespoke furniture, the build required a breadth of skills, experience with local materials and attention to detail; all of which Walmsley Shaw delivered in spades.

“Working within a school requires flexibility, sensitivity and professionalism. This proved to be a real strength of Martin’s team, as well as their absolute investment in the quality of the garden.”


Sally Harley-Martin,

Builder’s View

“This was a wonderful and challenging project, made more interesting by the advent of the first lockdown, with all the disruption that brought.

“One of the earliest priorities was to stabilise the road that leads to the garden. With the field sitting on top of 4.5 metres of quarry backfill, the existing road was liable to sinking and moving. Impeccable management of this was essential, as the school was open and all service vehicles needed regular access. We made the road structurally sound and stable for the long term, while adding a retaining wall that provides a clear boundary to the garden.

“It was a delight to build a garden with simple but important details and such pleasing stonework and symmetry. The Garden has an amazing draw for all. Despite delays due to Covid-19, the smooth and supportive relationship between ourselves and the school has made it a successful collaborative project that we’re really proud of.”