Portfolio - A Contemporary Garden
Mr & Mrs B - Dedham, Essex
A Contemporary Garden
The existing garden was a neglected patch of weeds and broken slabs. The clients wanted to create a garden for entertaining, with a choice of different seating areas. They wanted to barbecue but didn't want a patio table and chairs, preferring low-level lounging sofas and sunloungers. They expressed a preference for a square lawn and a fairly formal, yet modern design. They wanted to keep the palette of colours to a limited range of white or blue flowers and green or grey foliage for simplicity and to create a tranquil feel within the garden. They also wanted a water feature somewhere and wanted to replace and extend the existing wooden decked area next to the lounge.
The lawn in the main garden is rectangular with a reflective pool set within it. The path from the kitchen crosses the pool and lawn and ends up in an ultra-modern black cube pergola which has horizontal dark grey slats on three sides providing shelter and hiding an awkwardly shaped corner. The cube pergola has SAiGE charcoal composite decking and provides a south-facing sun lounging area. Adjacent to it there is a west-facing paved area for a sofa and low table. The clients chose London Stone blue grey granite to give a contemporary feel.
The second rectangular lawn in the back garden is artificial grass with a short pile. It has been designed to be a golf putting lawn for the client to practise his game. Low box edging surrounds this lawn simultaneously creating a formal, elegant look and stopping the golf ball from rolling into the borders!
There are steps up from the artificial lawn to a large deck which spans the width of the garden. It replaces the former wooden deck and is made from SAiGE charcoal composite decking as before. A raised rendered bed occupies the left side of the deck, filling in and squaring up another awkward shaped corner and providing a change of height next to the large expanse of decking. There is a water blade set within the side of the rendered bed, spilling its water into a rectangular pebble pool. This, together with lighting set within the deck steps, on the water blade and an uplighter on the multi-stemmed silver birch in the raised bed, makes for a pleasant relaxing space when the sun goes down.
The planting is predominantly white flowers and green or silver foliage within the main garden. The beautiful Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' with her huge pale green flower heads turning to white contrasts well with the tall spikes of Delphinium 'Double Innocence' and the later Veronicastrum virginicum 'Album.' There is the added touch of blue flowers as you turn the corner into the back garden - notably blue Salvia nemerosa 'Caradonna' together with white Savia sylvestris 'Schneehugel', Agapanthus 'Cobalt Blue', pale blue Iris 'Jane Phillips, the blue and white lupin 'The Governor,' hardy geraniums 'Rozanne' and the taller 'Orion,' the deep blue Delphinium 'King Arthur' and the tall Campanula lactiflora 'Pritchard's Variety' for the back of the borders. Grey foliage is provided by Stachys byzantina and there is the white rose 'Susan Williams-Ellis.'