The Cheshire Garden was approached by the clients for this project after they had an extension completed on their house. The extension had encroached on an existing patio and had an overhang which made it quite a dominant feature. The clients were looking for a complete redesign of their outdoor space to complement the expanded footprint of their home. In addition to the impact of the new extension, the garden was also overlooked by an adjacent property. The clients wanted a garden which provided a variety of different spaces where they could enjoy sitting in the sunshine throughout the day, and which they could use for entertaining friends and family. As keen gardeners they had a number of existing Acer and shrubs they wished to retain in the new planting scheme.
Our garden designer, Jane, developed a modern design taking a number of existing features of the property as inspiration. The plan incorporated clean geometric lines consistent with those encompassed in the architecture of the clients’ home and surrounding houses. The alignment of the garden was set at 45 degrees to the property in order to make the space appear larger. Central to the scheme were a series of raised planters designed to balance the scale of the extension overhang and draw the eye away from the wall of the adjacent house overshadowing the clients’ garden. The colour scheme chosen was derived from that present in the interior of the property. For example, a Corten steel screen was included, to replicate the cinnamon shade of a worktop. This was also reflected in elements of the planting, which itself was designed with a Japanese twist to complement the existing Acer.
The completed garden has been constructed on a series of different levels and with the raised planters at a variety of heights. This enhances the interest of the scheme and creates a range of garden zones. Clean contemporary lines are formed by the use of porcelain paving, and with the risers and treads of steps in contrasting shades of dark and light. The planters are of substantial size, in scale with the house extension. These are built in fibreglass with a textured surface and in the same colour as the extension overhang and the perimeter fences. Corten steel is used not just for the beautifully designed decorative screen, but also for drainage grates at the edges of the paved areas. This consistent use of materials creates coherence in the backdrop of the hard landscaping. The clients’ have reported that the structure of the scheme makes their property appear bigger.
To complement the modern appearance of the design, a contemporary planting scheme with year-round interest has been devised for the clients to enjoy, whether inside or outside their home. The existing, and some additional, Acers along with the Katsura Tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum, give the planting that Japanese twist. Other structural plants include Cornus with its striking bright stems, Hydrangea with its enduring seed heads and sweet-smelling Hamamelis. Grasses such as Pennisetum, Stipa tenuissima and Deschampia cespitosa provide dynamic movement and, along with the trees and shrubs, ensure interest right through Winter. Spring flowering bulbs such as Crocus, Snowdrops, Daffodils and Tulips bring the garden bursting to life early in the year. These are then superseded by a long season of diverse flowering perennials including different varieties of Agapanthus, Geum coccineum ‘Queen of Orange’ and Veronica ‘Hocus Pocus’. Aside from their ornamental qualities, plants such as Stipa gigantea have also been chosen for their height to balance the other features of the garden.
With so much to engage the senses and enjoy in this redesigned space it is no wonder that the client reports that she feels her heart leap, whenever she returns home, at the prospect of being back in her garden. The space is now used throughout the day: for outdoor dining at breakfast, lunch and dinner; a quiet moment with a cup of tea; as well as for entertaining friends over a glass of wine in the evening. Not only has a professionally designed garden delivered everything the clients’ wanted, but they have also found the space straightforward to manage.
The clients are delighted with their new garden and have commended the whole design and build process from start to finish. Not only is the completed garden beyond anything they had previously imagined, but they feel that they have also gained new garden design friends!
If you would like to maximise the potential of your garden and extend what you love about your home into your outdoor space, contact The Cheshire Garden for a consultation.