This Clapham garden was a perfect project with a wonderful client who had a strong idea of what she wanted but didn’t know how to achieve the look she had in mind. The house was undergoing a complete overhaul including a back extension which leads directly out onto the garden through bi-fold doors, the width of the house. At the outset the garden was being used as a builders’ dump with snow on the ground . There was nothing in place except for a pretty LHS old wall, one pear tree and some heavy limes at the back of the garden. It is a south facing garden (12m x 8m) on level ground – and into this space we had to fit quite a lot. We therefore decided to turn it into 3 “rooms” each 4m long x 8m wide. The client wanted a garden which would be relatively easy to keep with clean well balanced contemporary lines. We had to make provision for a space for the young (teenagers) to entertain their friends and for the adults to do the same in a different area. Added to the seating areas, we needed to provide some shade, a water feature, a table tennis table, a shed and lots of pretty planting with some formality, however no grass. Instead we put in areas of gravel, paving and decking.The three rooms comprise a large square bed on the LHS with beautiful planting and an olive tree and buxus balls to give definition. On the RHS there is an area for a table and chairs. Through to the second room over a rill with blade fountain via decking bridges. This room will have rattan sofas and a brazier for the young and on the RHS divided by further pretty planting there is a gravel area where there will be a high backed seat, between two Cupressus trees, to catch the early morning sunshine! The third room, behind black bamboos, is decked for the table tennis table and shed.The limes have been pollarded and we put in new fencing on the RHS which we painted black and then lightened by adding horizontal trellising painted to a soft seagrass colour. The paving is basalt which goes almost black in the rain but is a beautiful soft dark grey when dry. The planting is soft with pretty foliage, white and green, and different shapes and textures incorporating some formality in shrub shapes. There is to be lighting along the rill and uplighters throughout the garden space and we are installing a sail for shade.
This is a garden that will look lovely at all times of year, softening down beautifully for those dreary winter months and brightening up with the intense greens and whites in the Spring and Summer.
The client said: “My great friend and exercise buddy came round yesterday with a house warming present and we sat in the garden together and, of course, realised that she knew you and Peter (Caroline’s husband, the landscape contractor who did the build). She said she thought the garden was lovely and had a very calm atmosphere. I really do love it. How lucky were we to both know Jackie (friend in common, who recommended Caroline)? Otherwise it might never have happened and I can’t imagine anyone else getting it quite so right. It really does look just like the picture I had in my head but couldn’t ever have got into being without you, Peter and the team”.