Society of Garden Designers
Tiny Chelsea Garden
This tiny space was bordered by five other gardens and overlooked by neighbouring properties, with areas in shade, semi shade and full sun, and more than 1m rise from internal floor level to upper level. The brief was to create a garden that felt connected to the house, with a paved area and plenty of planting. The designer created steps and a landing, a curved retaining wall that became a raised bed and seat, and a living wall. A central Dicksonia fern was chosen creates shade and is echoed by other lower ferns.
A London Roof Terrace
This tiny space at first floor level sits between a large house and mews property, punched through with skylights from below. The family wanted to use it to entertain, using an outdoor kitchen. The whole project was designed so that it could be built off-site and craned into position. Working with a manufacturer, the designer developed paving that could span wide distances with minimum thickness and weight; and GRP containers with a dead-flat finish. Planting includes multi-stemmed Euonymus alatus and cloud-pruned box.
The designer won the competition to redesign elements of Airfield, a farm and estate in Dublin, including the Entrance garden, the Irish Yew Walk and the Walled Garden, by reinterpreting the landscape’s design and planting history. She also designed a Bee Garden with hives and enhanced the Orchard with perennial planting; and created a design for a new garden by the restored greenhouse, and the New Food Garden, which include an Apple Maze, a vineyard and ‘cornfields’. This garden is educational and an important resource for the local community.
Marylebone Roof Terrace
The clients chose this property for the views over Regents Park, and they wanted a roof garden that wouldn’t interfere with this. A main feature is a large diamond motif on the wall at the end of the terrace. The designer wanted to steal attention from this, creating two raised decked areas. The seating and glass house are set within a planted pergola, which to satisfy planning had to be attached to a timber foundation framework under the planters. He also introduced timber decking and soft textured planting.
Château in Provence
By the French Mediterranean, the designer was invited to re-create a harmonious setting for this newly refurbished chateau, whose grounds cover almost seven acres. New gardens were laid out as a series of interconnecting spaces enclosed by hedges, relating to the Chateau’s internal configuration and layout. Other additions include four square reflective fountains, new arrival and entrance courtyards, an ornamental potager and a swimming pool garden with two symmetrical, curving stone staircases. The original formal garden was replanted and existing topiary was ‘edited’.
Clifton Courtyard Garden
The clients wanted to rework their dark, overlooked garden so they could use it principally in the evenings after work, with spaces for entertaining, and to complement the Grade II listed Georgian terrace house. The designer divided the garden into four areas, partially concealing and revealing different parts. She introduced a contemporary pool with stepping stones and an island tree, as well as smooth sawn Yorkstone paving, low maintenance borders, clipped hedging and screening plants. Lighting effects were very important in the design.
In this project, the existing house was a loosely reworked and extended Arts and Crafts building. There was little connection between house and garden, so the designer was asked to resolve this. The garden was designed as a series of interconnected rooms in the Arts and Crafts tradition, with the landscape becoming wilder as you move away from the house. The existing suburban planting was stripped away to make the fringes more naturalistic. Retaining privacy was important within the garden, so the swimming pool was also hidden from view.
This project was the garden of a listed period property, which needed to be modernised with subtlety. The client wanted entertaining space, a large lawn and a dining area. The designer created a shady dining terrace covered with roof-trained hornbeams, and a covered seating area with fire pit, a storage shed, and composting and rainwater collection areas. The planting was designed for spring/early summer and early autumn. It is modern in style close to the house but looser the further it progresses into the garden.
Hole Park, Sundial Garden
A small circular garden within a larger estate garden, this space was enclosed by yew hedges, with a fixed central sundial feature. Open to the public eight months a year, the clients were finding it difficult to fit groups into the garden, and when the box edging got blight they commissioned the designer to redesign the area. She made the central section larger and added a central mosaic feature. A Maggie Howarth mosaic and bespoke bench completed the hard landscaping. The borders contain roses and clematis on supports, plus peonies and perennials.
Kents Hill Business Park was an expanse of block paving & massed shrub planting. The designers were commissioned to design the landscape surrounding two of the buildings. They created a new social space carved out of a lawn embankment, widened & resurfaced paths, rendered walls to make planting beds with massed colour planting and grasses for a meadow-like effect. Trees were added for structure & screening. Car parking was relocated in favour of a planted embankment.
The designer was commissioned to develop the south-facing, sloping gardens of this Grade II* listed house. She lifted old flint paving to install a well-drained brick-and-flint design inspired by the original. A reclaimed brick wall replaced the medieval piggery boundary, and the north-facing terrace was transformed into a Breedon gravel parterre with cool planting. The sloping banks became a lawn surrounded with flowery mead, and some of the orchard was reclaimed to extend the garden in proportion to the house. Other features include a kitchen garden, a dining area, a hazel walk and a wildflower meadow.
Notting Hill Terrace
There are several ‘rooms’ in this space above the shops of Portobello Road. Each level has a different character – the lower levels are more enclosed, while the upper ones are light, with expansive views. The client wanted a space in which found objects and antiques could be displayed informally; and different areas for entertaining and sun bathing. To create privacy, the designers used screening including a bespoke morse code punched Corten steel balustrade. Basalt was chosen for paving and lighting was designed to bring the garden to life after dark.
Private Chelsea Garden
The clients’ main requirement on this project was for the garden to be a romantic, magical space with the character of an old, rediscovered garden. It had to accommodate dining furniture, a bistro table and a playhouse. The designer installed a shepherd’s hut, small raised terrace with steps and bespoke railings, and reclaimed York stone paving, terracotta tiles and old stone setts. She also sourced antique urns and artifacts including oak chapel doors, and a mirrored factory window, and specified a Gothic arch window and arch door as features.
Richmond Park Garden
The designer was asked to create a contemporary family garden with grown-up entertaining spaces and an outdoor studio plus areas for play. The resulting design focuses around a large social terrace with a stone fireplace and a built-in barbecue unit. Hedges dissect the space and provide screening for a sunken trampoline and other equipment. A bespoke steel pergola with hanging chair was constructed, and paving in smooth sawn grey yorkstone is mixed with grey composite decking. The planting scheme comprises perennials blended with grasses.
This project was a family garden on the River Thames, where a visual connection with the river was important, but a flood defence or bund had to be disguised by the design. A lawn was essential, and tall boundaries near the house had to be visually diminished. The narrow plot was ‘widened’ by using mirrors set into long ‘windows’ in the boundary wall. A fire table makes the river terrace a desirable destination to draw people out into the garden.
This architect-designed house had a landscape that came right up to the building, in the modernist tradition. The designer felt the connection between inside and out was paramount, so the foreground clutter of field fences were removed to ensure views of the Downs were left open. The main garden was tucked away behind the house. The designer created a geometric design for the space, proportioned to respond to the architecture. Seating areas were created to allow views out to the landscape, with wildflower planting in bands.
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Voting closes on 31 October 2016 and winners will be announced at the SGD Awards ceremony on 27 January 2017
This small manor house is sheltered in a deep valley facing north with views of the countryside. Parking was an issue, and there was a lack of structural planting. The entrance forecourt was reshaped and a larger space designed for parking. The designer reworked the steps and paving around the garden, adding seating areas. New features include a rill, hedging with buttresses and double herbaceous borders in tones of blue, purple, deep burgundy and silver. Planting including shrubs and climbers were also used to soften the house.