The space is a large garden attached to a semi-detached sub-urban house. The client also owns the house next door, and the brief became to tie the two gardens together to become as one.
The client has a great love of art, and wanted a garden that functioned primarily as an aesthetic space. There was also an interest in Japanese gardens, which was to be considered in the design. The only firm stipulation was that some lawn should be retained
Taking loose inspiration from modern Japanese gardens, this design utilises a series of circles and spirals to impart a strong sense of fluid unity to the space. The existing paved area to the right of the conservatory was removed and re-laid with a large fish and spiral design pebble mosaic circle, resting like a solitary island in a 'sea' of black slate paddle stones. From this area, a semi-circular step, inlaid with pebbles in a spiral mosaic pattern, leads to a large circular lawn. An undulating rendered wall capped with paddle stones begins at the raised paved area to the right of the conservatory and curves out into the space along the edge of the lawn. Swooping downwards, it seemingly 'disappears' underground only to rise again at the back centre of the space and continue around the garden to terminate at the left of the house.
On the left hand side of the space the curved wall acts as the retainer for a raised bed, within which two circular raised concrete platform, again overlaid with intricate spiral patterned pebble mosaic, sit within a varied planting scheme.
The beds to the right of the space are flush with the level of the lawn, with the gap opened by the 'buried' section of wall giving access from lawn to bed, to allow potential for shaded seating beneath the mature magnolia tree.
Planting in the space features very soft and delicate flora, punctuated by the occasional strong architectural form. Japanese plants feature heavily, including evergreen shrubs and flowering summer and autumn perennials, while a selection of Spring bulbs, including snowdrops and bluebells planted under the Magnolia tree, will bring a colourful start to the year.
A subtle lighting scheme gives the garden a gentle all-over wash, with the careful placement of exterior shadow spots to illuminate the main features and planting. LED pin lights set within the structure of the curved wall serve to mark its gentle undulation, while pea lights adorn the magnolia to stunning effect.