This is the rear garden to a substantial new build property in Ashtead, Surrey.
Our client envisaged a space completely transformed from its blank canvas, typical of a new build house, to a beautiful garden that delivers a strikingly personal design style packaged within a low maintenance scheme that can be enjoyed all year round by the whole family.
She wished to capture a fresh and contemporary garden style, yet it was to have a soft feminine elegance.
The design was guided by the multiple functional requirements of the garden.
Firstly, we created a veranda that not only creates an undercover walkway from the back door to the garage, but is a key feature to the garden. It follows the colonial French/plantation design style, as a timber structure with timber balustrades that has been painted to fit the ‘shabby chic’ style. The veranda presented the opportunity to plant climbers such as wisteria and evergreen Jasmine, which will eventually climb up and over the front; this will not only soften the structure but will also provide a beautiful scent. We used wooden floorboards for the veranda and it is wide enough to fit a table and chairs, and a sofa.
The walls of the house underneath the roof of the veranda are clad in timber (also colonial style) and painted a pale grey, which sets off the garden style wonderfully.
Privacy is an issue that is addressed in the design by the introduction of pleached photinias at strategic points that help to screen the garden from the neighbouring properties.
The use of raised beds in the garden not only introduces an element of interest but also enhances the height of the screening. The raised beds are rendered and then painted white and trailing plants soften the walls’ dynamic; they also provide the opportunity for built in seating.
The seating area is located on the side of the garden away from the conservatory in order to make the most of the aspect. It is slightly sunken to not only add interest to the landform of the garden but to also enhance its sense of seclusion. It is surrounded by sensory planting and includes an understated water feature that provides a soft trickling background sound.
The garden is very much used by the children and the dog, so there is enough lawn space for them to play. A sunken trampoline is included in the design, which allows the kids to play without it dominating the space. It has an artificial turf surround that not only blends into the garden but also provides a more hard-wearing surround to the trampoline than natural grass would provide.
The side passage next to the garage provided an excellent opportunity to install a custom built storage unit accessible from the decked veranda. It is a fairly large, water tight, lockable space with lighting, and it can store anything from garden equipment to the kid’s bikes.
The owner expressed the desire to have a scheme that would look good all year round whilst still including seasonal variation and interest. The main request in terms of planting was the issue of low maintenance whilst still producing the desired outcome of full looking, lush planting and a selection of large evergreen shrubs which help provide this backdrop, whilst the pleached photinas previously mentioned, provide the screening effect. Leafy specimens are easy to care for and generate that luscious feel, even in winter. Plants such as bamboo, ferns, grasses and phormium help to create a dramatic yet low maintenance scheme. The owner’s favoured colour palette is the cool shades of purples, blues and whites picked up in the other plants, amidst a mix of bold and fresh greens in the shrubs.
Lighting adds an exciting dimension to the whole garden, making it not only useable on summer evenings, but also visually accessible in winter months. The inset lighting to the paving and pathways, up lighting to the trees and structural planting creates brilliant effects. However, with the use of different circuits, a more subtle atmosphere can be achieved, according to the mood and occasion.
Finally we installed a computerised irrigation system, which can be set to water the garden for a set amount of time each day, which is especially useful if spending any period of time away from home.
Fill out our enquiry form, or call us on 0845 603 2598 and speak to one of our friendly expert staff to start the process of designing your dream garden!