A Wrap-Around Front to Rear Garden with Secluded Terraces, Off-Street Parking and Kids Wildlife Area
"Working with Nick and Doug has been an absolute pleasure. They have truly created a beautiful garden that our whole family can enjoy throughout the year.
I love that they really took the time to understand us as a family. They listened to all of our visions, including our children’s, as to how we would like to use the space. It was evident that they genuinely cared about creating a garden that would reflect our personalities and meet our needs.
On a practical note, despite working to a tight schedule, project management was first class with milestones happening on target no matter the weather. Budget estimates were accurate and costs were clearly explained up front. The degree of professionalism shown here is no small achievement.
The variety of spaces they have crafted in our wrap-around garden is simply outstanding. They have managed to combine traditional British with a bit of Asian so elegantly. The front garden is stunning with the bench and the arch. It makes me smile every time I come home. The area by the conservatory reminds me of home in Asia. The rest of the garden feels like a very British garden, so colourful and vibrant when in full bloom. They have also created a wildlife area for my nature-loving son. It has become a source of joy for all of us, and his little friends are absolutely captivated by it. There is a lovely private space for entertaining with a water feature making it feel like an oasis.
What truly is amazing is that there isn't a single space in our garden that resembles another. Every single day, I find myself eagerly exploring and eagerly awaiting new surprises. Whether it's a tiny bud or a newly bloomed flower, the ever-changing landscape means that our garden looks different with every passing season. This constant evolution keeps the garden feeling fresh and alive.
Nick and Doug also provided us invaluable guidance when we were choosing the materials and furniture. Their expertise in this area has made the decision-making process so much more enjoyable and stress-free.
Their dedication and care are evident in every single detail, ensuring that our garden remains a breathtaking oasis. It's always a delightful experience to have them around, and we truly appreciate the love and attention they continue to pour into our cherished garden.
Nick and Doug, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for creating this beautiful garden. It has become an integral part of our family life, a place where we will make so many memories. Your creativity, passion, and genuine care have made this journey a truly remarkable one. We feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with both of you." - Rhoda & Andy W4
This beautiful Norman Shaw home on the historic Bedford Park Estate in Chiswick, West London sits within an enviable corner plot. So, in effect, the garden surrounds the house, as shown in the plan below.
When we were first approached to design this garden, it was clear that, thanks to the position of the house within the plot, we could create a number of linked garden spaces, all of which would have their own unique atmosphere.
So, shall we go on a 360 degree tour? Let’s start with the front garden….
There are so many factors to consider when it comes to the designing of a front garden. Perhaps the biggest being that it’s the first real impression a visitor gets of the owners and their home.
In the front entrance area, we used this classic wooden bench to create a welcoming atmosphere. A bench in a front garden, or seating of any kind, is always a great addition, encouraging interaction with neighbours and passers-by.
The evergreen topiary of the standard bay trees, combined with the yew hedging and balls gives year-round structure. The beds around the bench are also planted with spring and summer colour.
From the bench, the eye is drawn to this ornate pergola, which, as the garden matures, will have clematis and roses scrambling through it. The pergola (left) marks the entrance to the front passageway that leads on to the conservatory. The Dutch paver path is edged with limestone steps, as well as gravel areas, to add an additional texture to the hard landscaping.
And as you can see from the before image on the right, the front entrance is now a far more welcoming sight!
On entering the side gate, you move into the main dining and seating area that runs the length of the house. The limestone paving gives a contemporary feel, whilst the Dutch pavers in the sunken seating area make reference to the home’s original heritage.
The dining and seating areas are divided by a large planted bed with a wonderful multi-stemmed tree at its centre. This bed is positioned directly opposite the French doors, so that it can be enjoyed from both inside and out.
The classic zinc water feature, (seen in the image above), provides soothing sounds as well as a lovely focal point to the seating area, which is set slightly lower than the rest of this terrace.
The terraces are brought to life at night thanks to the subtle warm lighting. The trellis feature wall in the dining area, (below), makes a dramatic architectural statement.
From the seating area, you look across a lawn, which runs the entire width of this part of the house.
We created large Dutch paver ‘stepping stones’ to give access to the permeable resin bound gravel parking and play area just beyond. This is also used for basketball and essential 24/7 football practice!
The lawn and play area areas are divided by a narrow bed, planted with tall grasses and perennials.
This garden has to cater for children and adults alike, but the penultimate area of the rear garden was truly, for us, a labour of love. It’s the kids' nature garden.
Our clients are all huge nature lovers, and actively work within the nature conservation movement. We were asked to create an area of the garden that the kids could really call their own.
Although this area is in shade for most of the day, we used shade-loving plants and trees to create a jungle feel. The irregular stepping stones give a hint of a dinosaur’s footprint and lead to the small pond, which, even in its first year, is home to frogs, newts and dragonflies. The bespoke bug hotel that overlooks the pond is already fully booked!
And for us, the image below shows just what this special part of the garden was all about….
Finally, a bamboo border leads through to a small front terrace and wide gravel path that leads back to the pergola.
It was so satisfying designing these micro gardens within a garden. The shape of the plot was a great challenge, in that we had to create spaces for all the family, whilst also take into consideration the practical needs of their busy, city lifestyles.