The Sunny Back Garden

The clients for this project were looking for a complete redesign of their outdoor space to complement the expanded footprint of their home following the building of a large new extension. As keen gardeners with a fondness for the Japanese style, they wanted a garden with a variety of spaces to enjoy throughout the day and use for entertaining, while retaining a number of existing Acer trees and other shrubs in the new planting scheme.

Taking inspiration from the property’s existing features, our design was bold and contemporary, based around clean geometric lines and angles consistent with the clients’ home. It was constructed on different levels, each with prominent raised planters of various heights to balance the scale of the new extension and the dominance of other surrounding properties, and creating an assortment of garden zones. Porcelain paving alongside the textured fibreglass planters, and the risers and treads of steps in contrasting shades of dark and light, produce a clean and modern backdrop. The colour scheme for both materials and planting also mirrors the warm cinnamon tones found in the house interior. A beautifully designed russet Corten steel decorative screen is incorporated and complemented by drainage grates in the same material.

Using the existing Acer as a starting point, the planting scheme was given a Japanese twist.  Lasting appeal and strong structure are delivered through the fusion of trees, shrubs and grasses. The spring flowering bulbs of snowdrop and crocus bring the garden bursting into life early in the year, followed by a long season of diverse flowering perennials from Agapanthus to Veronica. This transformed space is now used throughout the day: for outdoor dining or a contemplative moment with a cup of tea, as well as for entertaining friends over a glass of wine in the evening.