Project Overview

Contemporary urban back garden

This urban back garden was transformed from a blank canvas into a diverse and interesting garden with plenty to look at all year round.

The wish list

  • Contemporary style
  • Generous entertaining space
  • Year round interest
  • Alternative seating area for early morning and shade from midday summer sun

The magic wand

I created a cohesive design around a reshaped lawn incorporating planting areas close to the house and in other areas to entice my clients to enjoy the different views and border planting.  The planting and design brings texture, colour, detail, fragrance and lighting to what was a bare outdoor space.  New and improved size places to sit I designed as an extended patio area and one shadier corner seating area during the middle of the day and for a sunny breakfast spot in summer.

The garden is on a low to moderate complex slope, the highest area being over a meter higher and furthest away from the house.  Poor drainage, and an under ground shared drain running across the garden meant a design solution had to be found to tie in with these restrictions.  For these reasons I designed a border which starts from the neighbours high gable end wall and cuts across the garden following the edge of the extended patio.  This planted border soaks up water from the area above it, and is designed to bring plants close to the house, allowing tantalising glimpses of the garden beyond through the careful light weight mix of planting in terms of types sizes, heights, fragrance and colour.  I believe it has brought considerable interest to what was bare grass, and is enjoyed from inside the house as well as whilst sitting on the patio throughout the whole year, especially with the addition of garden lighting.

Harmony, performance and unity is achieved through the choice of all materials.  Porcelain paving, the colour of which compliments the brickwork of the houses.  Its size and simplicity of pattern is contemporary, and its low maintenance qualities fulfil the necessary requirements for performance of a paving material.   The new fencing harmonises with the existing mature trees in its colour and will enable ease of maintenance with plants entwining around the trellis detail.  The soft landscaping has been designed to a limited pallet of colours to bring harmony with the brickwork colour of the house and retained boundary beech hedge which turns a rich copper colour in winter.  I chose four native trees to bring an understory of interest to the garden with interest from them in the form of pale pink berries of the Vilmorinii rowan and its spring pinnate foliage,  a pair of Tibetan cherry trees positioned either side of the seating area with rich tactile mahogany  shiny bark and soft yellow new spring foliage, dark brown cones, and pink catkins of the golden alnus tree behind the corner seating area.

The response

“We are very happy to give a testimonial for your website – we are so thrilled by what you have given us”

Before view of houseBefore to boundary

Before views of the garden