Project Overview

Asymmetric design, mature feature tree with lighting

I have designed a garden for a couple which needed to combine both of their styles and tastes, contemporary and traditional, in Merrow, Guildford.

The wish list

  • Extended patio for entertaining in a contemporary style with planting areas
  • Visual impact
  • Reduce the size of the lawn a little
  • Increased planting in a traditional style in keeping with the existing feature tree.
  • Keep / recycle as many plants as is practical / possible from the existing plants
  • Planting to bring interest all year round, colour and texture and to be dog friendly
  • Seating especially in the shady areas of the garden.

The magic wand

I created an asymmetric design using the shape of the conservatory as my inspiration, which I mirrored in the shape of the lawn.  A reduced size as requested, and this allowed generously proportioned borders around.  Large areas of lush planting for shade loving plants, especially under the trees at the end and along the hedgerows,  while other areas, sun loving plants were chosen to suit the contrasting conditions.  The large range and number of plants required, fit the brief by bringing visual impact to the whole garden, many of which are colourful throughout the year, and most can be enjoyed from all angles of the garden and house, even more-so when exploring via the stepping stone path which leads down from either side of the patio, passing seats nestled into parts of the garden that offer enjoyable vantage points along the way, to the far end of the garden and back round.  Attractive views to the side, beyond the garden boundary, are welcomed and encouraged by the addition of a seat from which to enjoy a grand old Cedar tree in a neighbours garden.

Lighting was designed, by a separate contractor, especially to highlight the beautiful existing mature feature tree, at the end of the garden.  Pockets of light within the borders, raised containers on the patio, and stepping stone path are also subtly lit, and creates a relaxing feeling and entices a safe and gentle meander through the garden on warm summer days, or rapped up warm on a cold spring day to enjoy the woodland bulbs emerging really close up.  The requirement of steps down to the lower level because the patio was required to be a more generous size, meant lighting was essential for reasons of safety as well.

The extended patio, needed to be contemporary in its styling, which also tied in well with its proximity to the house.  I designed it to have a contemporary look by selecting a mid size square cut Porcelain paving, which is very hard waring, slip resistant and easy to keep clean.  Laid in a simple 90 degree grid from the house, and incorporate the steps.  I positioned the steps in front of the conservatory’s leading edge as I felt this would be the most balanced position, and the width of them to link with the overall octagon size, thus enabling them to be a generous width, which aids navigating down to the main areas, enticing visitors to relax and really explore the garden fully.

The response

“Carol the garden looks fabulous.  Thank you!”

During the planting of the garden