The extensively refurbished and modernised house sits in approximately 1.5 acres of land, with the remains of the original garden still in place. The original gardens were in a state of neglect, and looked dark and uninviting. Planting was outdated and overgrown with a large number of Cupressocyparis leylandii. The large garden had originally been broken into a series of smaller satellite areas..
My clients are a young professional couple with one child. They have quite an eclitic taste, expressed through their large collection of modern art, furniture and sculpture. The wanted the gardens to have a sympathetic relationship with the house and interiors.
They had a number of clear requirements. They wanted to have an area of the garden for relaxation, another area for entertaining close to the kitchen and a play area for their daughter. They particularly liked sunken gardens, tree ferns and water. Lighting was also essential, as they wanted to be able to be able to use the space as an extension to the house. They also wanted some element of sculpture and bespoke furniture in the garden. They did not like the colour red.
My clients wanted to split the garden into a number of areas, and each area or garden room to have its own distinctive style; which must relate to the adjoining room in the house.
I created a garden design with a series of contemporary and distinctive garden rooms, with each room provoking a different sense of feeling and response. By dividing the garden into these compartments, I have created a sense of journey and discovery. The garden has a sense of lightness with a sense of adventure and fun.
The inspiration for the garden to the side of the sunken room came from English National Opera production of Zerkses, and it was designed as a piece of art or an installation, rather than a conventional garden.
The clients had initially wanted to install a set of stairs to the front of the house to the kitchen raised terrace. I felt that this would look harsh and not benefit the front aspect.
I suggested that we create a larger terrace with new steps installed to the side, which leads down and through the fern forest.
A three-metre leylandii hedge to the rear of the property provided valuable screening from the neighbouring property but it was claustrophobic and intimidating. The replacement raised bed planted with phylostachys bisseti softened the boundary whilst maintaining privacy.
Maintenance was not an issue as they were happy to take out a maintenance contract with a local company once the job was complete.
This Garden was the subject of a 5-page feature in Concept For Living Magazine