How wrong can a designer be?! My Balham client knew best!
The original retaining wall in this sloping garden was nearer to the house (the owners having built out into the garden for a big kitchen extension) and so to create a patio area we had to push back the garden quite considerably behind a higher retaining wall which was to be rendered in white with coping along the top. However my client felt that this was going to be too bright and stark so close to the house. She insisted that “cladding” would soften the effect. Personally I have always disliked cladding thinking it rather “naff” so I was absolutely adamant that it would not look good. As my client has rather impeccable taste (judging by the interior of her house) I really didn’t understand why she wanted this hideous stuff on her beautiful new walls and I attempted to steer her away from it.
Well, she persisted and I now think I got it wrong as it looks really rather good! It does look softer and kinder to the eye and blends in well.
Moral of the story is that the customer is often (not always!) right and we garden designers should listen hard to our clients!