We’re very excited by the progress made on the hard landscaping in this modern urban garden in south west London. The Clients have remodelled the rear of their house with some stunning designs by Dow Jones Architects to create a light filled kitchen and dining room. The floor to ceiling glazing will mean that the garden is always in view and we’ve designed strong architectural elements to mirror the architecture of the extension. The garden will incorporate a rear terrace into which you can see the three pure white steamed Betula var. utilis ‘Jacquemontii’ already planted, which will serve as a seating space away from the house. The area immediately outside the kitchen will incorporate a cantilevered oak bench that sits either side of a living green wall, with Prunus Umineko, a beautiful cherry tree, emerging from the polished concrete terrace. There is also a green roof which we’ve designed with a Japanese them, and the front garden will also be getting an extensive planting makeover.
We’re nearly completed on a contemporary garden just off Wandsworth Common, and looking forward to adding the decorative and final plant based finishing touches. The garden is wider than longer and the distance from the back of the house to the rear boundary less than 7m, and so the design has had to work in a slightly different way too many London gardens. The design focused on creating a smart terrace that includes space for comfortable seating (around a gas powered fire bowl that also doubles up as a coffee table) and outdoor eating, and includes a built-in BBQ and space to prepare and serve the food. The exit from the house into the garden is over a meter higher than the natural garden level, and so we’ve carefully designed a step arrangement that visually reduces the impact of so many steps, and also means that we can subtly separate the entertaining area from the rest of the garden, and so that space becomes more intimate and suited for the evenings. The design has worked well and we’re hoping to add some more photos as we draw towards the end of summer.
We’ve a number of exciting projects at construction stage in both London (Wandsworth Common & Dulwich) and Swanage, Dorset. The garden designs range from a contemporary town garden to a large garden incorporating a pool set on a slope overlooking Swanage bay (the views are going to be stunning!). Each project has had a very different brief and as you’ll see from the photos we’ve posted, there’s been plenty of excavations and retaining work before the more glamorous and visible parts can get started on. The design work for the three projects shown was started last year, and in the case of the basement light well, over three years ago and involving a substantial planning application. The gardens are all due for completion in spring and early summer and we’ll post some progress images over the coming months and as we get closer to finished surfaces and the planting.
I was visiting Bosham over the weekend and was fortunate enough to meet the lovely owner of a garden that we designed over seven years ago. The garden overlooks Bosham harbour and it was brilliant to have an opportunity to see how it has matured and that the garden design has worked so well. Our original design featured two rows of three Quercus Ilex which were intended to add height to the garden, without overcrowding the space, as well as dividing up the main garden space from the more secluded swimming pool area. The trees have been looked after really well and you can see how well they’ve worked by looking through the ‘new’ and ‘now’ photos on the Portfolio page.
We were asked in late summer to help stage a basement terrace in Notting Hill, and we’re really pleased with how it turned out. The terrace can only be reached from the master bedroom and we set out to create a tranquil space that picked up on the textures introduced within the bedroom by Studio L, London the interior designers on the project. The space sits one floor below ground level and is not overlooked, so is in sun for part of the day. We planted cor-ten steel cube planters at different sizes with a mix of plant species including mature Trachycarpus fortunei to add height within the space, and the softer textures of ornamental grasses including Hakonechloa macra and Anemanthele lessoniana (the foliage perfectly picks up on the rust colour of the cor-ten planters).
This is a quick photo to show the now tiled and planted arrangement for the stepped transition between the lower ground floor and garden level at our garden design project in Dulwich. The arrangement consists of a series of stepped planters that are set to each mirror the height of a pair of steps (steps not visible in the photograph). The empty space between the planters will shortly be filled by a cantilever timber bench that faces the kitchen. Both the planters and terrace surface are clad in a Silver Grey porcelain tile, with the tile layout patterns subtly altered to reflect the apertures from the house. The planters are planted with a single species in each 'step' - Liriope 'Muscari', Agapanthus 'Midnight Star' and Sarcococca 'Ruscifolia'. The two bowls are from Urbis Design and are planted with Thyme. We're due to complete the build over Autumn and are looking forward to sharing photographs of the complete garden on our Portfolio page once the garden has been professionally photographed.
We're absolutely delighted to be appointed to develop the courtyard landscape design for Alchemi Group's project at Westminster Fire Station.
The Edwardian, Grade II Listed Westminster Fire Station at 4 Greycoat Place, is being refashioned into a mixed-use boutique development. With concept and interiors by Studio L, London and architecture by Openstudio Architects, the architecture and interiors are focusing on creating a respectful marriage between the historic architecture of the Fire Station and the new build architecture of the newly coined “Station House”. The development will consist of 17 residential apartments set over 5 floors with each overlooking the central courtyard that we've designed, which sits over a basement, and creates a more intimate and private space for the residents between the two buildings. The fire engine bay doors from the original Fire Station will also be home to a new restaurant as illustrated in the photograph.
Our design is now complete, specified and tendered, with the build work underway and we're really looking forward to sharing the photographs which we'll do as soon as the development officially launches before the end of the Year.
We're currently at construction stage on a project in Dulwich working alongside RDA Architects. The project incorporates a basement excavation which resulted in a lower level terrace that sits 1.5m below the natural garden level. Our design incorporates a series of stepped planters on the left and right sides of the steps that lead up into the garden. We've treated this lower terrace as a contemporary garden space in its own right, and have included panels for art, built in cantilevered seating, storage and subtle lighting. It's likely to be the space used most often by the family, and it will have planting wrapping around the seating to counter the amount of hard landscaping. The planting will mostly consist of loose forms, all evergreen, and with subtle tones of colour that complement the greys of the stone paving and beautiful Urbis bowls. We'll share more pictures of the construction as the build progresses and we move onto the upper garden level.
We've designed swimming pools and a plunge pool, although never before been asked to place a hot tub, and it's a little trickier than you might at first think. That may have had something to do with the decision to sit it outside a new basement extension, already below the garden level, and so whilst we've partially sunk it into the ground, we've designed lift out planters placed to the front so that it can be serviced. We're pleased with how this contemporary garden is beginning to look, and once we're fully planted, the hot tub will no longer dominate the space, and our Clients will be able to enjoy the hot tub and an outdoor fire all in the same small space. All we now need is some sunny weather.
Our Clients bought an old dairy farm a few years ago and we've been working with them over the last couple of years to create and nurture usable garden spaces. The farm is located just outside Thurlestone, on the South Devon coast, and is set on a hilltop with views towards the sea. It's a very exposed position, and we've had to contend with strong winds and selecting plants that will cope with the salt water in the air. Being a dairy farm, and assuming that the cows didn't have the inclination to stop and small the roses, there wasn't an awful lot of planting, or indeed anywhere to sit and enjoy the views. We've therefore created a decked terrace in a sheltered part of the garden positioned to enjoy the setting sun. It's wrapped in hedge and perennial planting, and also includes an outdoor shower so that the family can wash off the sea when they return home from a day out. We've planted a series of trees to help settle the house into the landscape and also sown a 100sqm wildflower meadow which is thriving. We're heading down to see how the meadow looks in June, to decide whether a Chelsea crop at that time will help to add more colour to the meadow flowers.