Garden Of 5 Arches

Left – The approach to the principal arch. The only path leading to the back of this long narrow garden curves in an ‘s’ shape from one side to another making the garden seem wider than it is. The path is sank between raised beds and completely controls your experience of the garden. The fences and gate here form a curving barrier from one side of the garden to the other, preventing our clients’ sons and his friends getting to the pond at the back of the garden unaccompanied.
Right – The arch is made from solid oak and is referred to as the principal arch because it is bigger and made from heavier timber (20cm sq posts) than the other 4 arches. The fence was made from curving timber to match the line of the path. The seemless flowing line of the hardwood handrail is an important aspect of this design as you can run your hand along the curvature of the handrail allowing for a tactile experience. The wide tropical bamboo fence spindles and gate maintain the oriental character of the arch and reflect its dominant strength and character in the garden’s composition.

Left – The Zen garden design philosophy is used by us in much of our design work, even if our style of work is not overtly Japanese. To use stepping stones like this in a curving path that disappears out of site arouses curiosity and forces you to explore The change of direction also gives you a continually changing perspective of the garden by controlling the direction of your view, showing you different vistas and aspects of the plants, like the  purple Acer ‘Beni Otake’ and the palm Trachycarpus fortunei at the apex of the curve.
Right – the arch stands ‘side on’ to the house so that you do not see its true size until you turn the corner of the path to walk under it. In the limited space of a city garden it is important to retain an element of surprise. You can catch a glimpse of the paths final destination here through the arch; the deck and bench are just visable.

This is the final destination at the back of the garden. You can hear it before you see it and although you can see glimpses of the deck and bench, it is only after walking around the ‘s’ bend of the path, through the arch that you first see the pond.