Rendered blockwork walls create raised beds in this garden, and are finished in a slightly uneven Mediterranean style render, painted in a warm off white colour. The warm coloured Indian sandstone paving adds to the soft tones of the hard landscaping in this narrow space between house and boundary fence.
A walk through Jasmine and rose clad arches, around a hot Mediterranean planting with intense floral colours and strongly contrasting tones in foliage display, leads to the calmer and softer tones of the terrace, seen here in the evening sun.
Beyond the snug enclosure of the rendered raised beds, the garden opens out to a deep planting set around a central circular patio which is in full sun all day. Views of open fields and a distant wood form the backdrop to the garden making a stark contrast to the intimate sitting space beside the house.
As you can see in this photo and the one below our curving paths are laid using segmentally cut slabs so the the paving itself reinforces the curves of the layout.
Each slab in these Indian sandstone paths is cut four times to create the wedged shape and the curves on the inside and outside of the path.
Sandstone patios and paths were laid out to create detail and interest, denying a straight and obvious route and steering one through the planting, so that the individual scents and forms of the plants are experienced at close quarters. Arches were used to frame the walks and detract from the flat ground levels, which previously lead the eye straight to the back of the garden.
A walk through these pergola arches brings you close to the flowers of many different climbing roses and the scent of evergreen jasmine. Each carefully selected rose variety is repeat flowering with the highest rated scent. After they have finished their early summer flowering the jasmine blossoms emerge and take over the flowering display, the jasmine species, Trachelospermum jasminoides, flowers en masse for about 6 weeks and then sporadically for the rest of the summer and autumn during the late-blooming of the roses from September onwards. The evergreen leaves of the jasmine turn red in the winter after the roses have dropped their leaves, providing a combined display that lasts for 12 months.
A low maintenance garden is crucial for almost all our customers, and this photo shows clearly the system we use to ensure this. We lay an irrigation pipe over the soil, then a woven weed suppressant membrane is laid over this, and finally, a mulch of 20mm naturally rounded gravel, slate or bark mulch is laid over the top of that.
Pergola arches create multi-layered vistas in otherwise flat gardens, adding immediate vertical architectural impact which is also extremely dynamic. A walk along the curving routes continually changes the angle of view, guiding the eye to different framed vistas, as seen here looking through 3 arches to the dining area on the terrace. Furthermore, interactions with the scent, close up views, and tactile qualities of the plants growing on the arches are facilitated, walking along one of the paths in the garden becomes a journey with many sensory experiences rather than a route from a to b.
We used industrial pre-cast drainage rings to create some of the raised beds in this garden – they are a cheap and powerful way to retain tonnes of soil, bringing a curvaceous look to any space. In this garden, they allowed us to offset the definite linear rectangular shape of the courtyard setting. Once rendered and painted, no hint of their intended initially utilitarian use is discernable.
Our plan view drawings are always presented in colour, giving an instant feel for the hard landscaping materials we propose to use. Our custom-drawn plant icons, showing the character and colour of the species, are then laid over the hard landscaping on a separate drawing. This drawing is annotated with descriptive captions of the plant species, providing the Latin name also, so that our clients can search the internet for them and see countless photographs of them.
3d views and elevation drawings often provide an ‘ah-ha’ moment when we are presenting our designs to customers for the first time. We use every means at our disposal to communicate our designs, and this type of drawing is an excellent aid to visualising a complex space or composition. Our custom-drawn 3d icons also show the qualities of the plants in caricature so that the overall drawing is precise and not overloaded with detail.