See a before picture or plan
CONTEMPORARY GARDEN WITH FEATURE WALL
This recently completed scheme is the result of a complete garden make over (see before image).
The clients had requested a low-maintenance garden with very modern (though not necessarily minimalist) features.
The slightly sloping lawn has been replaced with a garden on three levels that features a large raised planter and incorporates off-white rendered walls. The cream – coloured flags are natural limestone and the feature wall is a soft red, brought to life at night with accented uplighting. The three free standing rendered walls give the large pots (1.5m high) an imposing architectural presence, while the six matching topiary standards (photinia ‘red robin’) break up the view to the back of the garden.
This unusual scheme was commissioned by the client (a single dad) as a dance/party area for his 14-year-old daughter. The circular lid, when lifted reveals a fire pit and barbeque. The ‘dance’ floor deck is augmented with LED deck lights.
To create the semi circle, the deck boards had to be individually machined to achieve the required taper. We used ipé – a South American hardwood timber. As with all our timber, it is from a sustainable source to FSC standards. Its smooth, sleek surface is so much more pleasing than some of the softwood alternatives. The choice is to treat this timber with a special oil, or allow it to weather to a silvery grey seasoned look.
Plants include: Fatsia japonica – Japanesse aralia – chosen for its leaves that look like large, outstretched hands Camellia williamsii x ‘donation’ – a large variety with demi-double, pink flowers Skimmia japonica ‘Kew Green’ – a compact, dome-shaped, evergreen shrub with dense clusters of fragrant, creamy-white flowers in April and May Agapanthus praecox – also known as ‘lily of the Nile’ Nerine bowdenii – an unusual perennial with glowing pink ’bowls’ of flowers Stipa gigantean – giant feather grass Sedum spectabile ‘Brilliant’ – carmine pink flat flower heads with succulent flesh foliage Carex buchananii – leatherleaf sedge
See a before picture or plan
A MANCHESTER CHILL OUT ZONE
This garden in Hale, just south of Manchester, was quite a small space that also had the added challenge of an old garage in need of renovation. We chose to make the garage a beautiful garden feature by cladding it in western red cedar with a bespoke circular door as the new garage entrance from the garden.
We chose a pale grey composite decking to match the rest of the colour scheme and included two large raised planters with architectural plants, which add colour, soften the hard landscaping and provide privacy.
There is also a stainless steel water feature to add pleasing sounds and a contemporary lighting scheme to add to the ambiance for evening use.
The client uses this outside room as an extension of the house, as a chill out zone and entertaining area.
Although set in the grounds of a stately home, these client’s wanted a simple, contemporary outside space. It had to be low maintenance and practical with plenty of outdoor seating.
The generous sized deck is to be used for eating out and the stainless steel water feature is a perfect focal point. The planting is simple and dramatic featuring two specimen sized cordyline, which are uplit at night.
The house is seen as quite traditional yet contrasts well with the contemporary scheme. The existing hedge forms a soft looking boundary which helps frame the space within.
LARGE CIRCULAR FAMILY GARDEN
This garden design has been divided into three distinct spaces. The first (shown here) is contemporary and has a circular theme the central section is a kid’s play area (complete with artificial turf) and the third section is devoted to lawn and fruit trees. The pale coloured rendered walling is the unifying feature, with large topiary shapes as focal points.
MEDITERRANEAN STYLE COURTYARD
Faced with a sunny (south facing) slope, the clients wanted a low maintenance ‘room outside’ for relaxation and entertaining. The garden was developed on several levels; paving and pebbles, deck area and raised planting beds on two levels.
The contemporary plantings are created using only a few varieties of ornamental grasses and architectural foliage plants. This south-facing plot was able to accommodate a slow-growing olive tree, which gives the garden a Mediterranean look.
The discretely placed uplighters in the planted areas and the flush-mounted deck lights transform the space at night, while the shade sail gives much needed shelter from the sun in the day.
We clad the existing fence with bamboo, adding to the contemporary feel of the garden in a simple way.
Planting includes: Japanese Sedge (Carex hachijoensis ‘Evergold’) Japanese Aralia (Fatsia japonica)
Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum rubrum ) Olive Tree (Olea europea)
NEW LOOK FOR A GEORGIAN COURTYARD
These client’s wanted an ultra- contemporary scheme, despite the georgian architecture within this historic courtyard. The main design concept was to contrast modern with old, in a bold and uncompromising way.
The 18th century brickwork gives a wonderful backdrop to the stark rendered walls, with the sleek curve of the stainless steel water feature.
The cream coloured, natural stone paving is well contrasted with the charcoal grey limestone slabs and the theme is continued by the table and chairs.
The subtle down lighting and dramatic uplighting create a relaxed feeling within this sleek scheme.
Planting includes: olive trees (olearia europeus), lavender (lavandula munstead), chusan palm (trachycarpus fortunei) and ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’.
A GARDEN FOR ENTERTAINING
This garden was chosen by Alan Titchmarsh to be shown as an inspirational garden on the 4th series of Love Your Garden on ITV, which was broadcast on June 24th 2014.
The garden was designed for outdoor entertaining, with a raised deck for eating, a stretch of lawn for the children's play and a patio for enjoying the sun.
There are also two free standing water features, ample architectural planting and a contemporary lighting scheme.
See a before picture or plan
This garden is high in the Pennines, so it will be enjoyed mostly in the summer, when the rest of the year’s extreme weather conditions have tired themselves out. Within this contemporary design, we have used local, natural materials to complement the client’s traditional stone cottage, creating an aesthetically appealing synthesis of age-old materials and modern design.
This view shows the details of the circular deck, which was created to hold a large circular dinning table and additional seating for outdoor dinner parties.