The outside space was in poor condition when the current owners moved into the property and a rat problem was evident. The brief was to provide a family space that was low maintenance and that would clean up the area to create a light and friendly garden. Given the relatively small size of the garden and overhead trees, there was a preference to create hard landscaping over the majority of the area rather than incorporate a lawn.
This design draws on Moroccan influences and creates a well laid out space that is fresh and inviting. Flooring in the space consists of multi-coloured African slate laid in a stretcher pattern, interspersed with the occasional Moroccan floor tile. Under the kitchen window is a butcher block housing a Belfast sink allowing the client the opportunity for outside water. Directly outside the back door, flanked either side by flush planting beds, there is a railway sleeper sofa-style seat with bespoke waterproof cushions.
This area is enclosed with a purpose-built timber pergola with a rusted iron mesh 'roof'. The main seating area of the garden consists of rendered block raised beds, painted white and adorned with a Moroccan tile border around the top, upon which L-shaped 'suspended' railway sleeper benches are fixed. This area also benefits from a railway sleeper table, a large, ornate Moroccan-style water fountain water feature against the right hand wall and a wrought iron chiminea in the back bed to serve as barbeque and heater. The existing large laurel was retained and the existing ivy was thinned and conditioned. The inclusion of a large tree fern at the entrance to the seating area makes a formal entrance to the space.
The remainder of the planting consists of oranges and greens with a selection of climbers, evergreens and herbaceous perennials selected to give year round interest. The space is completed by the inclusion of a comprehensive lighting scheme. The pergola is illuminated with a fairy light net over the top.
The main seating area benefits from stylish teak and stainless steel bollard lights installed on top of the raised bed walls and rope lights running along the underside of the seats, with a double weatherproof socket providing power for the client to plug in electrical equipment if required. Finally, a series of low voltage lights throughout the planting beds give the garden a subtle overall glow while serving to highlight individual plant specimens.