We have recently completed the project in Abbeville Road, Clapham, SW4. The house had been subject to a complete refurbishment program including the installation of bi-fold doors to a new kitchen extension.
At the initial consultation, the clients said that they wanted the outside garden surface to be a continuation of the internal tiled kitchen floor level. They did not want a natural stone or tiled patio so we opted for Ecodek solid composite decking in slate grey to match the colour of the bi-fold doors.
Quality composite decking is becoming increasingly popular because it is not prone to the same faults as timber decking - it is much less likely to fade, split, crack or rot. It does not have the same soft fibre as timber and therefore does not accumulate algae and dirt in the same way as wood.
Our clients wanted some kind of 'break' between the deck and the rest of the garden to create a 'room' feel to the deck area.
We suggested 2 treated timber raised beds with a framed top, finished in white.
The timber construction gives a lighter feel then brick or block and render so does not act as a barrier to the rest of the garden. In the same way, we kept the planting light by using a mixture of lavender, ornamental grasses, and a variety of flowering evergreen hebes.
We also installed some 'Chelsea' trellis panels on to the new fencing out as far as the 2 raised beds - again to enhance the whole deck area.
The design was completed with round recessed lights on the front and sides of the raised beds with the light shining down at 45% on to the deck.
Before & After
We have recently completed the garden in Broomwood road, Battersea. We have been landscape gardening in Battersea for many years and garden design and construction in Battersea comes with its own unique set of design requirements. The gardens between Battersea and Clapham common in particular are often quite small in relation to the size of the house and this requires careful layout design and planning to make full use of the limited space.
This garden in Broomwood road is a typical Battersea garden and in consultation with our client, we designed this built in seat to be a self-contaned garden within a garden. Much of the planting is arranged around, above and below the seat, leaving maximum space in the rest of the garden for an artificail lawn min-football pitch and play area.
The old London stock wall is a feature which again is found in many Battersea gardens, and it was decided to incorporate it into the design. The project also included the soft-wood batten trellis above the wall to match the contemporary tongue and groove fence panels on the side boundary.
Before & After
Rustic Slate Project in Raynes Park
This project in Raynes Park presented an interesting set of challenges. One half of the garden was at the same level as the kitchen door - this was because it had once been the concrete base to a garage that had long since been demolished. The other half was about a 600mm drop down to the lawn level. This split level arrangement made the first half of the garden difficult to use with limited space to enjoy the patio area of the garden.
In consultation with our clients, we decided to unify the level by building a low retaining wall and back-filling with aggregates to create one full level concrete platform across the back of the house. The change of level was now pushed further out into the garden which allowed for the design and construction of central steps with lighting set between two rendered raised beds leading down to the lower lawn level.
The remaining flank wall of the garage was rendered and painted compete with rendered shelves to display resin window boxes in charcoal grey matching some large resin cube planters placed on the new patio.
Much thought and consideration was given to what type of natural stone to use for project. Our clients specified that they wanted a contemporary style with a hint of traditional to match the age and style of the house. Rustic slate was the ideal solution - the slate works in a contemporary setting while, at the same time, the copper colour tones in the slate promote a more rustic style.
Rustic slate was also used as stepping stones in the new lawn leading to the garden office at the end of the garden.
Before & After
Small Urban Garden in Wimbledon
This garden in Wimbledon had been neglected for a good number of years. The new owners of the house, our clients, had made improvements to the interior of the house and were now turning their attention to the outside space.
The garden had only one particular problem - it was not very big. This is a common issue with gardens in various parts of south west London, but with careful planning and design, something can definitely be done about it.
One set up that often works well is to confine all planting to raised beds usually done in brick or concrete block and render.
They can be as narrow as 600mm with a planting space of 400mm which is just about enough. Also, if you design and build any raised beds with built in seating to a corner of the garden, you create visual impact while retaining maximum space in the centre. This space in turn, can be occupied by free-standing furniture such as a round table with chairs in timber or metal.
Even a garden of say 8m x 8m can be transformed into a useful ‘outdoor room’ if the layout is arranged in this way.
Before & After
Garden Storage Solutions
The design brief for this project in South Wimbledon had to include attending to one important practical challenge - storage.
It seems that even with good use of loft space and under stairs cupboards, storage solutions for houses in south west London inevitably involves using garden space as well.
In this case, our clients had used an old garage for storage but it was old, too big and completely in the wrong place.
We decided to design the whole garden around a 3m x 2.4m apex garden shed placed into the left hand corner with the long 3m side facing the house.
Once the old garage had been demolished, there was plenty of space for a raised bed seating feature down the right hand side and a lower raised flower bed on the left of the garden.
In addition to that we laid a small Brazilian slate patio in front of the shed at the back of the garden.
This layout ensured that the shed was ‘built in’ to the design of the garden and although of considerable size, it did not dominate the overall space.
We also installed some pine cladding batten to the existing fences with down lighters at intervals on all sides.
The project was completed with the laying of some premium quality artificial grass and planting to all the raised beds.
Before & After