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The clients have lived in their property for a few years with their cats Gilbert and George. Well travelled and culturally diverse, they love the feel of the Majorelle and Frida Kahlo gardens. A keen home brewer, the clients wish to have the opportunity to craft beers in the garden, as well as having space to grow vegetables and enjoy the sunshine.
The theme of the design is based on the distinctive garden of Frida Kahlo, with a strong colour palette of cobalt blue and zingy yellow. A series of rendered raised beds are positioned throughout the garden, increasing in height towards the rear of the space. A flush level planting bed towards the front of the garden accommodates a red painted timber screen with apertures to house blue glass bottles, terracotta pots and other found objects. A similar screen fills the bed opposite. This screen forms a backdrop for a series of terracotta pots filled with specimen plants. The paving will be a terracotta coloured sandstone laid in stretcher pattern. The paving doglegs slightly through the space at which point the beds begin to raise in 20cm increments, creating two enclosed areas. The area to the left can be filled with stunning pots and specimen planting, while the right hand side accommodates a deep armchair constructed from untreated reclaimed railway sleepers. Each raised bed will have plinths built into some corners to display terracotta pots.
The final third of the garden is a seating area. Raised beds cuff the edge of the space which is demarcated with a red timber archway repeated in the style of the screens near the house. A railway sleeper bench on legs offers not only a dining experience but also a day bed area for lounging. The back wall will be raised in height and painted a deep cobalt blue and have a salvaged door attached to it painted in a distressed green reminiscent of the doors in Frida Kahlo’s garden space.
The micro brewery will be housed in a bespoke workstation storage unit installed down the side return. This unit will have enough space to house all the brewing equipment, including a small fridge. Bi-fold doors will fold firmly back against the side, with a tool shed included at the end, which will be accessed by a separate door on the side. Once the doors are folded back a table on castors and sink on castors can be pulled out to create a bar! A neon bar sign attached to the house wall will add a playful element to this area.
We had discussions with a couple of other garden designers, before we found Earth Designs, and were rather underwhelmed with their proposals. However, from the moment Katrina arrived at our home she inspired us with her ideas, enthusiasm and total understanding of our desire to create something quirky, colourful and practical. Katrina drew on our interests and the bits and pieces we’ve collected on our travels to design a garden that felt beautiful and different – a little slice of Mexico in East London. Matt and his team executed the project with patience and attention to detail, happily incorporating the random bits and pieces of timber we’d collected into the designs.