View Urban garden design Hackney East London on our Project Map
This space was a completely blank canvas, with sound fences to the right and a high brick wall to the left.
The client requested a ‘wow’ garden, one that is funky and stylish yet also practical and inviting, with good provision for socialising and the possibility for the inclusion of a hot tub spa.
This design sought to transform the garden from an urban wasteland into a sub-tropical party oasis and split the garden into two distinct areas. At once elegant and stylish, playful and accommodating, the space would be equally suited to intimate dining or large-scale entertaining. The colour palette is aubergine, lime and sand.
The area directly outside the back door is designed to serve as a functional utility area, with a purpose built storage unit slotted into the gap to the left of the steps and space allowed to accommodate the client’s gas barbeque.
The first section of the garden consists of two areas of slate paving, split by a decked walkway that zig-zags down the space. To the left, running partway along the existing brick wall, is fixed bench seating comprising purple rendered concrete block walls and a deck board seat. The existing wall itself was rendered behind the seat and painted purple. A moveable decking table and decking cubes on castors were constructed in this area to provide a variety of al fresco dining possibilities.
Two large rectangular stainless steel planters planted with tall bamboo split the first section of the garden from the second. The second section consists of a large, partially sunken hot tub to the right and an area of decking to the left. A large purple rendered block wall serves to square off the bottom of the garden, providing a strong backdrop of colour to the space while an opening to the left of this wall allows access to a small, open-air storage area behind.
Planting is strong and simple. Big specimen architectural plants dominate, including plum leafed spiky phormiums and cordylines. Grasses give motion to the space. Dramatic ‘Black Parrot’ tulips and ‘Black Irises’ contrast with arum lilies to bring elegance and grace to the scheme. Agapanthus will take the stage once the spring flowers have died back and offset the sand grasses and strong plum foliage.
To compete the design, a variety of lighting was included to create a visual cornucopia when the sun goes down. The decking features sunken lights, strategically placed to light key areas. Spot lights in the main beds illuminate the architectural planting to its best advantage, while creating an overall wash to the garden. Finally, six stainless steel downlighters, three on the end wall and three on the side wall, provide effective illumination to the seating area and hot tub.
“From the first time we met Kat we knew we had made the right choice. Kat very quickly determined what we wanted and more importantly, what we didn’t. After a couple of iterations of design we came to an agreement and very quickly work started. We made it clear from the beginning that we needed Earth Designs to take care of every detail.
Neither of us had the time or the inclination to be involved in the process, other than discussions around design as the project progressed. Due to access restrictions, delivery of all materials and plants required the use of a crane and closure of the road. This included co-coordinating the delivery and installation of the hot tub with the manufacturer. The boys handled everything without issue.
During the construction, the whole team worked very hard in all weathers to get the job done. We gave them a key so we did not have to be around at any point and they could come and go as they pleased. Every day, we hardly knew they were there and each night, they cleaned up before they left.
They were completely trustworthy and always polite and considerate while in our home. The end result is fantastic and meets all our needs. We have a wonderful environment in which to entertain, one to relax in and a spa area to die for.”