"Both Nick and Doug listened to us and really heard us. Sometimes people are just taking notes to ‘tick a box’ – but not Nick and Doug. From the colours of my wedding day flowers, to our love of Islamic Architecture, they did their research and came back with a design that ticked all the boxes!
In London we have all styles of houses and garden sizes – and most of them are not that big – but The Distinctive Gardener Team – do what it says on the tin– they design gardens of Distinction! I think, at first, I needed reassurance from Nick and Doug as I knew what I wanted – and luckily they knew what they had planned and could see it in the space – that is where their real magic comes in – they are visionaries of garden design – they can see a space and design a planting scheme to meet the needs of the client, whilst making the most of the space they have to play with.
I loved what they achieved in my rear garden so much that I asked them to design my front garden too! It is so beautiful and links the front and back gardens beautifully." - Nazmin and Karim W5
Our clients wanted a family garden that was not only beautiful to look at, but also reflected their cultural ancestry. Islamic gardens embrace a number of their key elements – from clean lines, and symmetry, sensory planting and the sound of running water, to the use of polished paving, decorative screening and tiling – to name but a few!
Add to that the need for areas to sit and reflect using trees to create shade, and creating paths that allow access through beautifully planted beds, you can appreciate we had quite a challenge on our hands.
To create clean lines in the design, the paving, tiling and screen choices were key. As you can see in the image above, we paired a smooth beige limestone with a blue and grey patterned tile that acts as both a decorative border and as a central focal point on the main terrace.
By choosing the right furniture, there is room on this terrace for both relaxed seating and formal dining. The decorative wall panels that run along the length of the terrace and right hand pathway complement the theme and are lit at night to great effect.
As already mentioned, plants and trees are a vital element in an Islamic garden. They need to appeal to the senses, both visual and sensory. Fragrance is in abundance all year round, with winter and summer flowering Daphne around the fountain, and sweet-smelling roses in the borders.
We also included aromatic foliage such as Santolina, Sage, and Salvia, which are planted under all of the trees in the main decorative beds.
The sound of gently running water is provided by the Moroccan fountain seen in the image below. This fountain forms a focal point in the left hand border and also when the visitor walks along the path on the right.
There are six evergreen trees within the design, which not only create dappled shade on sunny days, but also give the garden vital evergreen structure throughout the winter.
In the rear bed, (which you can see in the image above), the trees are underplanted with Hydrangea, ferns and three Magnolia grandiflora, to complement the large wooden uprights that screen the storage area at the very rear of the garden.
This rear area is home to a large storage unit, the family’s beloved and much-used table tennis table, as well as the BBQ and swing ball.
And when the client said they wanted a lawn big enough for their table tennis games, we had to oblige!
It was such fun to work with our clients on this design. Not only do they now have a garden they can enjoy all year round, but it has also given them a garden that helps celebrate their culture and history.