Catford Garden Design Site Analysis:
These are the gardens to a substantial, semi-detached, Edwardian house in a tree-lined, residential road in south London.
The front garden measures approximately 13.5ms by 6.6ms and is laid out in a traditional manner with a central lawn, surrounded by flower beds, and two paths.
The rear garden is broadly rectangular, although again it is longer at one side than the other, and is mainly laid to lawn with a long, narrow planting bed to one side.
Soil samples taken from around the garden show that the soil is PH7.5, which is alkaline but still suitable for a wide range of plants.
Catford Gareden Design Brief:
The client would like to give the gardens a complete overhaul in order to create a vibrant and practical entertaining space for all generations their family to enjoy. However, given the age of the property, they would like the new gardens to remain in keeping with their surroundings.
In the front garden, given the lack of sufficient parking space in the road, the client would like to create a practical parking area for two cars. For the drive surface, we talked about using resin bound aggregate, which is both hardwearing and very low maintenance, whilst still complying with the government’s sustainable drainage regulations. It will also sit well with the style of the house as it gives the traditional gravel look, but without its disadvantages.
In order to create a cohesive entertaining space to work in conjunction with the dining room, which backs onto the garden, we discussed using decking so that we can bring the patio up to threshold level, thereby creating a seamless transition between the two spaces.
In order to accommodate a large number of guests comfortably and to have room for a built-in barbecue, we build a deck running across the full width of the garden, leaving only narrow beds at either side for planting climbers to clothe the fences.
The built-in barbecue will be for use with charcoal and will be brick built, using bricks to complement the back façade of the house. It would also include storage shelves and a paved worktop.
Wall-mounted heaters will make the space comfortable to use in the winter months.
In order to extend the seating space, we talked about building some built-in bench seats on the far corners of the deck. We will leave a large central opening onto the rest of the garden in order not to cut it off from view.
From the deck the client would like to step onto an area of lawn. The client likes the idea of a linear design to both the lawns and planting in order to make as best use of space as possible. The lawn will be edged with brick in order to make maintenance much easier.
Beyond the lawn, the client likes the idea of a pergola traversing from side to side covered in scented climbing plants or a grape vine, and an arbour with seat to the right side. A focal point can be placed at the left side which can be viewed both from the seat and from the house.
The client likes the idea of a traditional, free-standing water feature here and this will give, not only the pleasant and calming sound of moving water, but also a wonderful sparkle at night when up-lit.
Beyond the pergola we will create a children’s play area. This will include a small play structure to suit children from ages 0-5 years, but also a swing/s which all ages can use.
As a play surface we discussed using artificial turf as it is both clean and low maintenance. The two area of lawn will be seperated by the pergola and path, as well as planting beds, so the two different surfaces will not be abutting each other in order to notice the difference.
The new planting scheme for both gardens should be fairly traditional in feel, but low maintenance too.
In the rear garden we will go for a softer, country garden feel.
Lighting will also add an exciting dimension to both gardens, making them not only safe and useable on summer evenings, but also visually accessible in the winter months. With inset lighting to the drive, deck and paving, and up-lighting to the pergola, water feature, focal points and structural planting, the effects can be dramatic. However, with the use of different circuits, a more subtle feel can be achieved, according to the mood and occasion.