Our clients were undergoing a renovation of their Victorian home in North London that included conversion of the basement into an open plan kitchen diner. This would allow a wall of glass sliding doors to bring light into the space and also give a wall to wall view out on to the garden space. The outside area is very small and as well as needing to provide privacy from overlooking windows, this design had to include architecturally interesting plants for year round colour and interest to act as a canvas looking out of the living area. A water feature, storage, seating area and trampoline were all included on the wish list.
In this garden we chose to recycle existing natural stone paving to make stepping stones to meander through planting. Instead of trying to hide the trampoline and making the garden even smaller the design allows for the trampoline to sit within the planting and we excavated down to reduce the impact of the trampoline visually from the house. Permeable dark clay brick pavers are laid in a contemporary pattern yet fit perfectly with the period of the property and the modern update to the interior. The whole garden reduces water build up and reduces the risk of flash flooding by allowing excess rain water to drain away through the planting and paving. To make the most of the space the terrace includes and built in bench ideal for summer when the glass doors are open and additional chairs and a table can come out and allow lots of guests and family to enjoy the space. Bold architectural plants such as Dicksonia (Tree Fern), Acer palmatum and Dryopteris provide a range of heights and leaf colours.
The garden has integrated all of the clients needs and the quality and finish of the design detailing extends the interior to the garden. Although this is a small space, by designing a rich planting scheme and carefully adding the required hard landscaping elements such as paving and storage, what otherwise would have felt like a back yard is a real haven of green enjoyed by the client and wildlife.