Having recently moved into the property, our clients had inherited a garden straight out of the ‘Good Life’. It was a model for sustainable living with vegetable patches, a chicken enclosure and a greenhouse. Unfortunately this was incompatible with their busy lifestyle. A radical change was required.
The Design Brief
Therefore the brief for this garden design in Redbourn, Hertfordshire, was to create a contemporary outdoor living space with an oriental twist. Constrained by the need to keep everything child friendly, this meant the emphasis would have to be on the planting rather than the use of rocks and water. Bamboos, Fatsias and Pieris were obvious choices, along with a number of other exotic species.
The main feature of the design would be a raised seating area, to give prominence and allow the clients an elevated view of the rest of the garden. Situated in a sunny area of the garden and backed by an old character brick wall, contrast between old and new was to be a key element.
Constructed using a combination of polished sandstone and decking, the seating area would be surrounded on three sides by raised planters, themselves made from block work and given a rendered finish. Phormiums and various grasses complete the look.
Children’s Play Area
In addition to an area for the adults to relax and unwind, to make this possible, a separate space was required for their children to run off their energy! Fortunately a large play frame and playhouse was left behind by the previous tenants. All that was required was to provide a suitable surface for the children to play on. Being in a shady area, it was decided that artificial grass would be the best solution.
Garden Paths and Walkway
Lastly to tie the various parts of the garden to each other and the house, two paths would be constructed and a circular decked walkway built around a large Pinus sylvestris. This would create a link for each path and act as a focal point for the garden.
The Bigger Picture
Lastly, the two pictures above illustrate how dis-jointed the garden was before and how good design helps create a cohesive whole.