Chic London Family Garden with Outdoor Wood Burner and Bespoke Planters
"We gave Nick and Doug the challenging brief of tripling our living and entertaining space, in a modestly sized garden, whilst maintaining the kids' playing space and a parking spot for our car. They managed tosquare off these requirements and deliver a beautiful planting scheme that draws in bees and other pollinators all year round.
Through original selection of materials, they have ensured that the landscaping is stylish, functional and sympathetic to the natural look we sought. In use, the garden has become an additional room to the house - a place to have a quiet coffee, a family meal or to entertain friends. Throughout, Nick, Doug and their whole team have been a pleasure to work with, ensuring not only that our wishes, but also their own high standards were met" - Tim and Fiona, W5
This was a most memorable project for Doug and I, most notably for the fact that we managed to finish building and planting the garden the night before lockdown!
The wonderful clients of this garden, in Chiswick West London, wanted to make use of absolutely every inch of their south facing garden – and as parking is of a premium in the neighbourhood, they also needed to be able to park their car in the garden on a regular basis.
The garden has two main areas, the dining and seating area near to the house and, on a slightly higher level, a lawn area with flower beds, shed, and a space for the family car.
The dining and seating area have bespoke metal effect planters. Not only do they define this space architecturally, but they are generously planted with wildlife-friendly planting. Beautiful thin brick-effect tiles are framed and divided by larger porcelain wood grained pavers, which help to define the spaces within this part of the garden.
A feature wall (which, like the rest of the garden, is stunningly lit at night) forms the perfect backdrop to the outside wood burner.
The planters all have topiary trees at their centres, with the main planter (above) having 3 trees and wooden vertical batons, which create seclusion from the upper area of the garden.
As with all the planting in the garden, the main planter has successional planting right through the season.
The planters are planted with Hardy Geraniums, Achillea, Verbena, Potentilla, with Alliums and Tulips for the spring and early summer.
In winter, the standard topiary trees will give the garden great structure, as will the three evergreen Magnolia trees, under planted with Hydrangeas, that are planted in the rear bed of the garden.
Leading from the dining and seating area, and on a slightly higher level defined by a corten steel edged step, is a lawn with beds to the right and rear. As shown in the picture above left, the main planter has a series of wooden uprights, that not only give structure, but also act as a screen, should the car need to be parked on the recessed pavers, as shown in the picture above right.
The two borders in this part of the garden have rather different aspects, with the rear bed being more in shade and the right hand bed enjoying a more sunnier aspect.
To give a sense of uniformity, the boundaries are clad with cedar batons and the shed and electric gate are painted grey, which helps them to merge into the background.
The rear bed (above) has three mature Magnolia gradiflora trees that are under planted with Hydrangea ‘Little Lime’ and a selection of wonderful foliage plants including Brunnera, Ferns and Toad Lilies.
The right hand border (above) is planted with Nepeta and the delightful repeat flowering fragrant rose Darcey Bussell.