Sustainability is just as important as luxury at one Bournemouth hotel, which is ensuring wildlife is as welcome as wedding guests.

The Green House Hotel has undergone an extensive garden re-design, in a bid to make its grounds 100 per cent organic.

Partnering with the south coast's leading garden designer, Kate Elysee, The Green House has transformed the space into the first hotel eco-garden in Dorset.

Since opening to critical acclaim in 2010, the luxury, 32-bedroom hotel, which also boasts a chic bar and a two rosette award-winning restaurant, has been voted Best Green Hotel by Condé Nast.

It is still striving to remain at the forefront of sustainability and ethical hospitality by constantly analysing best practices and reviewing modern technologies, hence the redevelopment of the garden.

“The garden is a really important space for so many reasons," explains hotel general manager Olivia O'Sullivan.

"Being so close to the beach we have lots of couples book us for their weddings and, thanks to Bournemouth’s micro-climate, many of these wedding can be hosted outside in the hotel grounds. "The garden is also an extension of the hotel for our other guests where they can enjoy meals or drinks in the sunshine. As well as human guests, we also want to provide a sanctuary and home to all the local bugs and wildlife which is vital in urban environments.”

Olivia employed local garden designer Kate Elysee, who was given a very exact brief - the space needed to be suitable for weddings, regular guests and wildlife. The garden also needed to be as eco-friendly as possible which meant using as many materials already found on site instead of buying new and any new materials had to be bought locally to reduce the carbon footprint. The plants needed to be as local as possible and the compost had to be 100 per cent organic.

“I have been designing gardens for 18 years and this is my first eco-project so it’s been very interesting for me," says Kate.

"The Green House Hotel came to me with an eco-brief; their front garden area was looking a little tired and not being used to its best potential. The hotel hosts a lot of weddings and the garden could be an ideal space with some creative input into its design and layout and that’s where I came in.

"The challenge was to tie the garden together using sympathetic planting to compliment the hotel, its surroundings, and the social elements that they wanted to have, bringing this area up to date. Every element needed to be as eco-friendly as possible, under the hotel's ethos which included using organic soil, local planting, reusing materials on site already, sourcing other materials as locally as possible and the and the garden itself also needed to work in three ways, a romantic setting for couples, a landscaped outdoor eating area, as well as a haven for wildlife.”

Kate Elysee Age: 65 Profession: Garden Designer Based in Swanage, Kate as a designer has won various awards from Poole Borough Council for commercial projects, taken part in Art in the Garden for Dorset Arts Week and has had two designs published in the book Success with Mediterranean Gardens.

Kate received her horticultural training with the Women's Farm and Garden Association under their women returners to gardens scheme. She obtained a formal design qualification at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester, Dorset and went on to work in the private sector as a gardener for the Countess of Lichfield in Cranborne, and Steeple Manor in Kimmeridge, Dorset.

Kate is now a skilled horticulturalist and as such is one of the south coast’s leading garden designers, creating contemporary, classic and bespoke gardens.