Soft Landscaping: St Helen and St Katharine Sixth Form, Abingdon

4th Corner were delighted to provide the soft landscaping for St Helen and St Katharine‘s new Sixth Form Centre in Abingdon.

The school’s outstanding academic record makes it one of the leading girls’ schools in the country. Their 700 students study in a campus-style environment of beautiful Edwardian and modern buildings, set in 22 acres of grounds.

The Benedict Building opened in January 2023, 120 years after the opening of the school itself. It aims to create an environment that will spark intellectual spirit and imagination, and will provide students with the space to grow their academic and extracurricular interests.

We completed the landscaping works during the Easter half term, to ensure as minimal disruption to the students as possible.

St Helen and St Katharine Sixth Form

The landscaping required consisted of a variety of tree and hedge planting, wildflower areas, bulbs and shrubs, as well as turfing larger areas.

St Helen and St Katharine Sixth Form

We planted a variety of trees, including Himalayan birch, Erman’s birch, crab apple, June berry and pear trees. These were accompanied by a mixed beech and yew hedge, which are both easy to maintain and support hundreds of different insects.

Climbing hydrangeas and Chinese Virginia creepers were also planted, helping to brighten up shady spots with their bright white flowers that are produced in early summer.

These were joined by wood anemone, woodland crocus and winter aconite bulbs, which will help to keep the grounds looking bright and colourful through winter and early spring next year.

We then turfed the quad lawn to ensure a clean and professional finish, seeding the other lawns and creating a wildflower area to encourage biodiversity.

We planted a variety of shrubs, including:

  • Oregon Grape (Mahonia ‘Apollo‘)
  • Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca Minor)
  • Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles ‘Nivalis’)
  • Mexican Orange (Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl‘)
  • English Lavender (Lavandula ‘Twickel Purple‘)

Harry Elliott, the Team Leader on this project, stated: “The St Helen and St Katharine project included a highly detailed planting plan, which was really enjoyable to implement. It was challenging to complete in the short timescale, but with great team work we managed it really well.”

St Helen and St Katharine Sixth Form

Giorgo, the Head of Soft Landscaping at 4th Corner, stated: “I was very impressed with Harry Elliot, Josh Barrie and Callum Deighton’s work at St Helen and St Katharine Sixth Form. The pace of work was excellent and crucial to ensuring that the works were completed in the time frame and to a good standard.”

We hope that the new gardens will be enjoyed by all of St Helen and St Katharine’s students!

St Helen and St Katharine Sixth Form
St Helen and St Katharine Sixth Form

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