This is the rear garden to a substantial family home in Romford, Essex.
The owners envisaged a space transformed from the overgrown blank canvas to a beautiful garden that delivered a soft contemporary design style within a low maintenance scheme, which can be enjoyed year round by the whole family.
The expansive view from the bi folding doors at the back of the house heightens the importance of the year round aesthetic of the garden.
The initial view is of the large patio where we framed this space with raised beds and in-built seating. This strikes an immediate contemporary tone to the garden as well as providing multiple uses. The raised beds allow for beautiful planting, which softens the hard patio and the built in seating makes the patio more accessible and usable all year round. The seating also doubles up as storage for cushions that help to personalise and soften the space. The patio area is used as the adult social space, so for that reason our clients wanted to include the contemporary water feature at this point, so that it can be regularly enjoyed and admired. The water feature ties seamlessly into the raised bed and seating elements.
We constructed a secondary seating area, halfway down the garden. This also sees the introduction of built in, ‘L’ shaped seating which is timber-topped and designed to allow a table between; so that this area can also become a secluded dining space. The introduction of a pergola over this seating not only makes a feature of the space but also adds a sense of enclosure, especially with scented climbing plants such as jasmine trained up and over the structure. This area is paved in sandstone which closely matches up to the colour of the original patio.
The three features of the garden include the patio, the pergola dining space and the garden building. These three elements form a journey throughout the garden that is interlinked by a stepping stone pathway.
The lawn runs throughout, but is broken up with the use of interesting borders and the planting scheme will look good all year round whilst still including seasonal variation and interest. The main request in terms of the planting was for low maintenance planting that more or less looks after itself whilst still producing the desired outcome; of robust, full looking beds; a selection of large evergreen shrubs will help provide this backdrop. The garden has a sense of privacy created by the retention of the best of the mature trees that were originally there and the addition of new large shrub species. The favoured colour palette for the perennials is the warmer colours of yellows, oranges and reds.
Lighting adds an exciting dimension to the whole garden, making it not only useable on summer evenings, but also visually accessible in winter months, which is important due to the expansive views from the kitchen.
Inset lighting to the paving and decking, up lighting to the trees, structural planting and pergola creates brilliant effects and with the installation of different circuits, a softer feel can be achieved, according to the mood and occasion.