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  • Writer's pictureNick

Stunning Large Contemporary Garden with Classical Features

A video tour of the finished garden

"The brief we gave Nick and Douglas was to extend our home into the garden and create separate outside spaces where we could dine, relax as a family and entertain our friends. Their design did not disappoint and we are still amazed at how they transformed our long, narrow and unloved garden into such a beautiful place.

The planting scheme is imaginative and carefully thought out so the garden has interest in all seasons and looks great from any angle. The whole design and build process from start to finish was high quality, thoroughly professional and any issues were quickly resolved.

Most of all, the experience was immensely enjoyable; you can’t help but be carried along by the genuine enthusiasm and passion that Nick and Douglas have for what they do. Thank you Nick and Douglas – you are such an incredibly talented team and we absolutely love our garden!"

- Claire and Sean, W5

The garden at night from the main dining terrace

The garden at night from the main dining terrace

From the moment Douglas and I first entered the spectacular contemporary kitchen diner and saw the wonderful view it gave to the garden, we knew we had to create something really special.

The garden is long and quite narrow, so we decided to maximize the width and divide the garden into a number of rooms or zones. The clients wanted a garden that would not only be great to spend time in, but also look amazing when viewed from the house, no matter what time of year.

Our design created four entertaining areas as well as large planted beds, edged with mature box hedging, that help to give the garden evergreen structure and a classical feel.

Flower bed with yellow Achillea, purple Salvia and orange Heleniums

Three of the beds are planted with yellow Achillea, purple Salvia and the orange russet tones of the Heleniums

We maximized on the uninterrupted view to the rear of the garden by painting the summerhouse, that runs the entire width of the garden, black. This now forms a wonderful invisible backdrop to the woodland planting of the rear bed and makes the garden feel like it goes on and on.

The main dining terrace feels like an extension to the kitchen diner, thanks to the use of a similar shade of paving and the three bamboo planters whose colour ties in to that of the kitchen units.

A seamless transition from house to garden

Light porcelain paving and contemporary planters help to create a seamless transition from house to garden

Looking back towards the house from the first garden terrace

There are two artificial lawns within the design. The first, leading from the main dining terrace, leads to a second terrace designed for more relaxed entertaining. From here, the eye takes you along the stepping stones to the smaller second lawn and to a more informal area which has a large corten steel fire bowl at its centre. The chairs (and the lounger on the second terrace) are from Timshel Design.

This part of the garden is perfect for relaxing in and is magical at night when the fire casts wonderful flickering shadows across the trees and plants.

Garden terrace with fire bowl

Relax by the fire bowl in the informal part of the garden on these Timshel Design chairs

The large corten steel fire bowl is a great focal point both day and night

Immediately opposite the fire bowl area is the largest of the planted beds, which is also edged with mature box hedging. The focal point of this bed is a large Walnut tree that looks so majestic set against the red Acer tree and the elegant heads of the white Hydrangeas.

walnut tree bed

The use of foliage and flower creates the perfect setting for the large Walnut tree

From the fire bowl area of the garden, the visitor’s journey continues to the fourth and final area of the garden, via a set of large stepping stones.

Large stepping stones in the garden

Stepping stones set within the large rear woodland bed

The stepping stones make there way through the largest planted bed in the garden. At its centre, we planted a large mature ornamental dark red Acer tree, which looks wonderful when lit at night. This bed has plenty of evergreen interest and is crowned by three large Yew topiary balls.

Planted around these are Hostas, Ligularias, Foxgloves, Ferns and Hardy Geraniums. In addition, the giant leaves of the ornamental rhubarb add a real sense of drama to the overall planting scheme and are set against the background of variegated Cornus.

View from the rear of the garden

View from the rear of the garden looking to the fire bowl area

The Yew topiary balls and the delicate leaves of the Acers give great structure when combined with the varied under planting

To the rear of this bed is a large secluded graveled area, which is a perfect place to sit for a morning coffee or an evening drink. The doors of the large summerhouse, that runs the width of this space, can all be opened up, which makes this the perfect party venue for all the family.

A secluded dining and entertaining area

A secluded dining and entertaining area at the rear of the garden

Garden view from the rear

The rear planted bed provides a wonderful wall of foliage through which the whole garden can be glimpsed from inside the secluded summerhouse


So, the garden went from this:

The garden before

The garden before

to this:

The garden lit up at night

The garden lit up at night, featuring Timshel Design sunlounger

All in 5 weeks……


Why not get in touch to see if we can create the garden of your dreams?


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