It is unusual to find a garden higher than the house it belongs to, however, for this particular job the height of the entire garden was about one meter higher than the house. The quirks and unique qualities of gardens create the spring board for the most interesting designs.

It is often the case with design-work that the issues which you encounter early in the design process are solved and transformed into your proudest features of the finished work. I feel that having the garden at the same height as the beautiful extension windows works particularly well; both the garden and the extension complement the other to create a charismatic space for relaxing, entertaining and dining out.

The clients were a young sociable couple who requested a simple modern space and so, the elements of the garden are simple yet detailed. An L-shaped wall wraps itself around a hardwood deck creating a chill-out zone for sunbathing and features two, up-lit, large metal pots. The four palms (cordyline ‘Torbay Dazzler’ – how about that for charisma!) in the centre of the space, were not in the original design, however, as the garden developed it became evident that detail was missing. The composition and symmetry of the palms and taller pots bring balance and, for some it may be perceived as, a modern hint toward formal gardens. I, however, feel that the combination of the dry surfaces and choice of plants brings a wonderful Mediterranean feeling to this Lancashire garden.

Other plants which we used include black stemmed bamboo (Phyllostachys Nigra) and Chusan Palm (Trachycarpus Fortunei). Other materials in the scheme were cream coloured lime stone and the decking was yellow balau hardwood.  In the second image we can see that the house is somewhat traditional, yet the simplicity of the scheme allows a contrast to work. 

Once the lighting was installed the distinction between different spaces, within the garden, became more pronounced and the space became broken up in an interesting way. At the same time, however, the lighting during the night seems to bring the indoors out, in other words, the garden truly is an extension to the house.

I have been informed that since the work was finished, the white wall has lent itself to the owners as a projection screen for watching footie!