A Fabulous North Facing London Garden with Circular Lawn and Stunning Entertaining Area
"Nick has transformed my dreary uninspiring garden in to a beautiful oasis in west London. I now love spending time in and relish showing it off to friends and family! Nick is also utterly charming, dedicated and passionate about what he does, I can't recommend him highly enough"
Justin Edwards, garden owner
Designing this garden was a joy from start to finish! The client has a very busy working and social life and wanted a low maintenance garden that he could enjoy relaxing and entertaining in.
At only 9 x 6 meters, I wanted to divide the garden into three distinct ‘zones’ and create the illusion of a much larger and more interesting space.
This was achieved by taking the owner on a journey from the raised upper terrace to a lower area with a circular lawn that leads on to an expansive dining and entertaining zone that runs the entire width of the garden.
The client originally wanted the dining area to be on the upper decked area nearest to the house. But being a north facing garden, I took advantage of the spring and summer sunshine that hits the far end of the garden from late morning to early evening, and created an entertaining area furthest from the house.
I also believe that no matter how small a garden may be, it’s always more satisfying to take a ‘journey’ through a garden before arriving at your destination! In this case, having come out from the house, you walk across the upper terrace, descend two steps, walk along a bamboo lined wide pathway
with the circular lawn and borders to your left, before arriving in the dining and BBQ area.
Large paving stones create an expansive feel
The Dining area with BBQ with decorative wall screen
Along the boundary wall of the dining area, I managed to fit a BBQ, smoker as well as a kitchen unit with work surface. On the brick wall, a frame was made onto which a decorative recycled plastic screen was attached. This really helps to define the dining area and also looks stunning at night when the lights hidden within it cast enchanting shadows over this part of the garden.
The other side of this dining area has a shed with a cedar shingle roof, a bench and a large corten steel fire bowl.
This Corten Steel fire bowl makes a great focal point and sitting on the bench when the fire is lit is a real treat on chilly evenings.
A shed need not be an eyesore in any garden. The shed in this garden was customized by attaching cedar shingles to the roof, a herb-filled window box to the side and painting it a sophisticated dark grey.
The central part of the garden has a circular lawn (below) with lush borders featuring some wonderful tree ferns. The artificial lawn is from Easigrass and is from their Mayfair range. The circular lawn makes the garden feel wider and allows the borders to create a fantastic oasis within the overall design.
The planting is designed to give year-round interest and colour, with spring bulbs giving way to Alliums and Foxgloves, with Verbena, ornamental grasses, Clematis, Honeysuckle and hardy Geraniums in the summer and wonderful white Japanese Anemones flowering into the late autumn. Evergreen interest is in abundance with the tree ferns as well as Heucheras, Euphorbias, Box balls, Yew, evergreen ferns, fan palms, Olive trees and evergreen climbers.
Harts Tongue Fern and the tiny purple flowers Geranium ‘Nodosum’ are at the front, with Heuchera ‘Lime Marmalade’ in the centre with Euphorbia. Yew and Foxgloves are at the rear.
The lushness and variety of the border planting can be seen as the eye is drawn from the majestic Foxgloves right round to the fire bowl that can be glimpsed in the far right corner.
The lush green of the artificial lawn is a perfect foil for the rich variety of planting that surrounds it.
And here are some pictures of the garden just 2 years later ....
Photos © Paul Debois