Lawn, planting and privacy were considerations for the client in this small sub-urban garden. The brief was to create a garden that would accommodate the needs of the client's child whilst being interesting to adults and usable for dining and entertainment. The solution would need to deal with the different levels and provide interest throughout the year.
This design makes maximum use of limited space by dividing the garden into two distinct areas.
The existing fences along all boundaries were removed and replaced with new fencing, upon which willow screens were fixed.
The main focal point of the space takes the form of a seating/dining area to the left hand side of the garden. Constructed from robust new treated railway sleepers, this area comprises an L-shaped fixed bench backed by a tall L-shaped raised bed and complimented by a freestanding table and low bench (also constructed from railway sleepers). This area screened from the rest of the garden by a rusted iron mesh trellis to the back of the raised bed. Flooring in this section and down the sideway is in stylish golden Iroko hardwood decking. The sideway itself features a tall stainless steel 'monolith' water feature, which can be viewed from all sides.
Access to the garden is provided by a set of decking steps from the patio door leading to a small rectangle of slate paving directly in front of the patio doors. Further decked steps lead from the paving to the second half of the space, which features a kidney shaped lawn bordered on one side by a curved granite sett path. This path leads to a 1.5m diameter granite sett paved circle in the bottom left corner of the garden, large enough to accommodate a café-style table and chairs or display a variety of pots or garden ornaments.
A child-friendly railway sleeper 'growing' bed was constructed behind the exposed side of the L-shaped raised bed and left un-planted for future use by the client's child. Planting throughout the space was chosen to provide year round interest, including a mimosa in the left hand corner. The addition of long flowering herbaceous perennials ensures maximum colour throughout much of the year, while evergreen shrubs help give the garden backbone across the seasons. Climbing clematis planted around the boundaries will over time help to soften and obscure the fencing.
Lighting in the garden is simple yet comprehensive. The risers of each decking step are lit with small 'micro led' lights to safely guide the user into and out of the space. Net lighting on the mesh screen draws ones eye to the seating area, while stainless steel bollard lights placed at either end of the L-shaped bed the bench frame this section of the space. The stainless steel water feature is illuminated from both sides by spotlights fixed to the decking. Low-voltage spotlights throughout the planting beds give the garden a subtle, gentle glow.