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We were delighted to receive the brief for this detached property in Clapham, with a generous sized rear garden. Despite the urban location, the garden is very private and has a mature Cherry tree. Our client wanted us to explore how we could retain the tree and existing block walls without them feeling too dominant. An outdoor kitchen area, terrace and seating for relaxation were all required, along with interesting planting that would provide structure throughout the year.
Our proposal retained the existing cherry tree and a planting design was formulated to integrate it into the new garden by introducing a range of heights, through the use of tall grasses and multi-stem evergreen trees. To get the most from the abundant cherry blossom that the tree produces, we planted hundreds of bulbs in 5 different tones of pink and white to firmly mark the arrival of spring in the garden. The planting then mellows as the tree comes into leaf and spring turns into summer. Cream and green flower tones from Hydrangea, Jasmine and Allium sit proudly against the backdrops of natural timber and Farrow & Ball ‘Railings’ colour on the rear boundaries, to give further depth to the scheme. Some of the existing walls were renovated and repurposed as a feature wall with an outdoor fireplace, whilst the decision was taken to remove the other raised beds and walls that made the garden feel closed in and provided little interest. A versatile outdoor kitchen unit built in cedar integrates seamlessly with the chosen boundary material and a solid granite work surface allows a practical and hard wearing work surface for the gas barbecue and food preparation. A carefully considered lighting scheme uses various types of light fitting to provide warmth and shadows around the garden, whilst allowing the homeowner to create different feature lighting moments, depending on the mood or occasion.
Looking at the before and after images of the garden shows just how much value has been added to the space, but also how we have worked with existing features to make an already generous budget deliver as much as possible for our client, without compromising on quality or aesthetic. The outdoor fireplace provides a stunning backdrop to the carefully chosen planting palette. Summer evenings can be enjoyed around a generously sized dining table, as food is prepared on the outdoor kitchen unit, before relaxing on the raised hardwood deck in front of the fire as the evening closes in and the garden lighting completes the atmosphere as dusk falls.
GUILLAUME H, CLAPHAM