'Seen here in July, having only been planted a few months earlier, this large, wide walled garden in West London presented us with a number of challenges – from the garden’s north facing aspect, to the need to reflect the grand façade of the property, whilst still creating a sense of seclusion.
The delightful clients and their family rarely ventured into the garden during the winter months, as there was no obvious place to sit or walk to without having to trample over a large, and often muddy, lawn. Add to that, the fact that there were numerous large shrubs that were encroaching on the garden and obscuring the true size of this incredible space.
As the garden is essentially north facing, we decided to create a number of terraces that took full advantage of the sun and its position both in the winter and the summer months. We have used a lighter paving to bounce the light upward, a factor that will come into its own during the dark winter months. The image above looks across the large new lawn to no less than 3 terraces, all of which have their own character and function.
The large terrace leading off from the kitchen is perfect for dining, whilst the middle terrace, marked by 2 large Carpinus trees in large ironstone pots and inlaid with distinctive clay pavers, is home to the outdoor sofas. Finally, hidden by a trellis divide, there is a less formal secluded lower terrace.
This lower terrace (above) has a much more informal feel, thanks to the use of compacted gravel instead of paving and the planting of a number of large evergreen trees that form a natural overhanging canopy. This a great space, a place of contemplation in the daytime, and a magical place in the evening for the kids to enjoy when the fire bowl is lit.
As already mentioned, the clients wanted the garden to be used all year round, and with this in mind, we created a walk way leading from the lower terrace, that runs a long the rear of the garden to a large shed.
Although the trellis itself is attractive, climbing plants will be allowed to weave their way through at certain points along its length. We adapted the existing shed to allow for log storage to the side and painted it black to help it merge into the landscape and give it a more contemporary look.
We also added a hardwood decking platform to enhance the shed’s appearance and give it a ‘Scandi’ feel.
Whilst one client was very much into structure and formality, the other enjoys informality and a softer look. For structure, we used trees to their full effect. Six large evergreen topiary trees are planted in the borders that flank the large lawn, and yew topiary balls in various sizes have been planted in all four corners of the lawn.
For the informal aspect of the design, we have planted the wide borders and the hedged beds with a wide range of both sun and shade-loving perennials to ensure interest all year round.
This is a garden that will take on even more character as it matures throughout the season.