Grow a Friendly Space


Our clients wanted a contemporary outside space that reflected their recently renovated interior. It needed to deliver the illusion of space and provide separate areas to cater for all members of the family, including teenage children. It’s a south facing garden so a shady area was essential, along with private space for a hot tub and patio for entertaining.


Finding inspiration everywhere

You can find inspiration for your garden in anything that captures your imagination. Art, architecture and fashion, for instance, always provide rich sources. Katrina often uses elements from exhibitions and places she’s visited as starting points for her designs. Why not try collecting a portfolio of colours, shapes, textures and design details that you like? This will provide you with a wealth of ideas for your own garden.

Architectural elements

Sometimes an element of beauty can also inspire a practical solution. For example, the pleached parasol trees between the patio and hot tub in this design were inspired by the colonnades of the Santa Croce from a recent trip to Florence. But they not only look gorgeous, they also add height and provide much-needed shade and privacy.

Shapes and hidden depths

An x-ray of a dress at a Balenciaga exhibition got Katrina thinking about creating layers of transparency. She used this idea in the planting to suggest hidden depths. While the bold shapes in Paul Huxley’s paintings inspired the boxy layout and block planters that divide the garden into different recreational areas.

The end result

This is a garden of many parts, with open spaces and hidden treasures. Layers of tall foliage, low borders and mid-height planters give the illusion of space and create separate hangouts for different activities. Which makes it perfect for families who want to be outside together or doing their own thing.


Work the angles

Push the visual boundaries of your garden by rotating layout along the longest lines to create depth and flow. Then accentuate the feeling of space with repetition and block planting.

Set boundaries

Privacy is essential in urban gardens. Strategic use of planting, planters, structures or screens can create open spaces for socialising and secluded seating for quiet moments.

Secret garden

Nothing is more exciting in a garden than the promise of a secret hideaway. So use layers, levels and structures to create intriguing glimpses through foliage and down pathways.

family garden design