Garden of the Month – July 2012

Grow a Friendly Space

This Garden of the Month design seeks to divide this long thin East London garden, to create a multi-functional space suitable for
alfresco dining, entertaining, relaxation and play.
The area directly adjoining the house will form the main seating area. Laid with decked flooring in attractive and durable Yellow Balau hardwood boards, this area will benefit from an L-shaped rendered block raised bed. This raised bed will support a ‘floating’ bench seat (i.e. supported by the raised bed wall only, without the use of legs or a base), also constructed from Yellow Balau deck boards. One end of this raised bed will also feature a
stainless steel water blade, from which water will cascade into a decorative aggregate topped rill below.
A decked walkway will lead from the main decked patio down the garden, doglegging first left then right then right again around a small area of lawn in the centre of the space. Flush level planting beds surrounding this area will provide ample opportunity for planting. Several ‘shabby chic’ wrought iron arches placed at intervals along the decked walkway will help create a sense of intrigue as one journeys down the space. The walkway itself will open out onto a large lawn at the bottom of the garden. This lawn will be screened from the rest of the garden by bespoke mesh screens, comprising rusted iron re-enforcing mesh set within a sturdy timber frame.
Planting in the space will follow an aubergine, pink and purple colour palette. The planting scheme will feature a host of herbaceous perennials for year round interest and big, bold, blousy and romantic plants to add colour and elegance. Bay tree support obelisks nestled in raised beds will support a variety of climbers, while a set of six brushed zinc planters placed around the decked patio will house tall standard rose bushes.
A simple yet effective lighting scheme will allow continued use of the garden when the sun goes down. The ‘floating’ bench will be underlit with white rope light, while lights installed in the decking at the base of each zinc planter will create a subtle night-time feature. The stainless steel water blade will be up-lit with a single low voltage pond light, throwing a gentle undulating light across the space. A series of LED micro lights installed at intervals along the decked path will safely guide the users journey through the space. Exterior fairy lights across each wrought iron arch and the rusted iron screen at the end will give a the garden a magical twinkle. The the scheme will be complete with the addition of a series of low voltage spike spotlights throughout the beds, giving the garden a gentle ambient glow while serving to highlight individual specimen plants.