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Have your say and vote for your favourite garden in the SGD People’s Choice Awards. Simply click on the first image and then scroll through all the gardens. Once you have made your decision, click on any of the buttons to take you to the voting page.
Voting closes on 31 October 2018 and winners will be announced at the SGD Awards Ceremony on 1st February 2019
Copy by Jodie Jones. Extracted from a feature in the November issue of the Garden Design Journal, published mid October
With multiple planning issues, a collapsing boundary wall, and a request for car parking, family dining and a yoga room within a complex series of spaces wrapping the ground floor and over first-floor level on a public corner of Notting Hill, this was an unpromising environment for a garden. This was a challenging project that delighted the client.
Escape to Marrakech
The Swedish owner of this tiny courtyard garden in Chelsea requested a design reminiscent of Morocco, interpreted in a modern way. She wanted an area of pure escapism, incorporating a Buddha, where she could work, rest and practice yoga to find her inner karma. The pool and the decorative grills set into the ground are artfully lit to create an arresting night time feature.
Fairseat, West Mersea
Charged with creating a coastal garden in keeping with its locality & the Edwardian styling of a new house & contemporary swimming pool in the process of construction, the designer also had to deal with a steeply falling site leading directly to the beach. Creating secluded areas for people and plants was a priority, although the client’s main criterion was to retain uninterrupted views of the sea.
The owners of this Arts and Crafts rectory wanted to extend the period character of their house into the wider garden, The designers developed a ‘hide and seek’ concept, playing on the period tradition of garden rooms. Using a series of dry limestone walls, perforated with Corten-lined slits, running east to west across the garden and defining a series of spaces and axial views.
This project includes new gardens to the front and rear of a typical tall London town house on a steeply sloping garden in Holland Park. The rear garden is the large, but there is also a roof garden which the client wanted to serve both as a family area and a space for cocktail parties. In the front garden, there was a need for storage and increased privacy to lower levels. The result created two spaces of very different character.
With panoramic views taking in some of London’s most significant landmarks, the owner of this roof terrace asked for a stylish garden that did not detract from its backdrop. The client wanted feature planting with subtle accent lighting, a barbecue area and social spaces. A report on the suitability of construction materials had to be approved by the surveyor before work could commence.
Japanese Water Garden
After years of business travel in Asia, the clients wanted a peaceful garden, in which Japanese elements would combine with a modern Western aesthetic. They specifically requested a Japanese tea house for two, with its own fireplace, and this was sited in one corner to take in the long diagonal view across the garden. The choice of materials, was inspired by wabi-sabi principles of imperfection. Water, including a stream flowing from east to west, meandering desire paths further reinforce the underlying oriental garden philosophy.
Designed to reflect the contemporary interior styling and colour palette, this low-maintenance garden has strong architectural form and a focus on textures, which maximises the feeling of space within this relatively small space. Multiple seating areas take advantage of the sun’s arc, with a dedicated cooking zone. Concrete was used throughout to pick up on interior detailing, a wishbone-shaped path tapers to give a greater sense of perspective and draw out views.
This garden is overlooked by neighbours so the clients requested a low-maintenance family garden with outdoor living & entertaining spaces. Wider views were uninspiring, so the emphasis was on a space where the boundaries were diffused. Terraces & a timber walkway were designed to comfortably fit the slope. A large pergola provides privacy, subtle light fittings and a polished-granite water feature introduce a modern edge and a relaxed atmosphere.
Le Mas Vieux
The owners of this 19th-century courtyard wanted an intimate space in which new and old materials would harmoniously combine. Historically, a network of canals was used to distribute water to the surrounding fields, and this was referenced conceptually with raised canals of Corten and a traced ‘field pattern’ of planting at ground level. The result is a contemporary, low-maintenance garden, planted for drought tolerance as well as year-round interest and scent, in which circulating water softens the impact of the harsh summer sun.
Merchant Square Floating Pocket
This mixed-use site had a large expanse of unused water at its heart. The client wanted a communal outdoor landscape where neighbouring communities could meet. The brief requested that this should encourage interaction & enhance the large water surface, providing flexible seating with space for outdoor events. This once bleak area has now been transformed into a series of floating gardens connected by walkways,
With a social media tag #bestofficeintheland, it was clear that this client had high expectations of its new headquarters. The brief was to provide an attractive setting agricultural land, to achieve a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating. Including a welcoming approach & extensive wetlands into which surface water from the car park and building are discharged. Over 1,500 semi-mature trees were planted & 12,000m2 wildflower meadow sown The BREEAM rating has been achieved and the client reports that its high expectations have been exceeded.
This garden forms part of a wider residential village & marina. The brief was to create a contemporary courtyard water garden inspired by Italian formal gardens. Water is the key element centred around two rills, lined arched fountain jets, a reflective pool accessed by ‘floating’ stepping stones. When the brief changed to increase the areas of soft planting & private seating, the additional elements had to be carefully located upon the lines of constructed beams to mitigate the impact of the additional loads.
The owner is a botanist who requested a garden with episodes, areas, movement, abundant planting for pollinators & people. The brief was to link the house to the garden & the surrounding woodlands. Structure & planting were used to define areas, allées to direct the views, dense borders echo the rolling countryside, & a boardwalk that crosses the main pond to a woodland path, which leads to a snail mound, yoga yurt & establishing meadow. Other features are a hot tub, potager with dipping pond, orchard & nuttery.
Shepherd's Bush Courtyard
The client requested a design reminiscent of Barcelona courtyards. Given that her garden was a small space requiring a creative interpretation to include a well-worn & warm material palette, plants in exposed cracks, a play of light, shadows & an emphasis on outdoor living & the sound of water. A pergola now gives the feel of a cloister framing a contemplative green space, designed to support a glass roof should the client wish to add one in the future. Increasing the perception of spaciousness, a circular flow between 3 seating areas, three trees and three Corten elements, providing multiple focal points..
Protected beech & holly trees dominate this small, modern town garden, restricting design elements & reducing light levels. Influenced by the dominant shade & the client’s love of red, the designer created a simple-format granite plank-paved garden with a limited palette of predominantly green plants with seasonal highlights. The garden is relatively low maintenance, including two generous terraces for outdoor living, a number of statement pots uplit for evening interest. A feature fireplace in bright red provides a strong focal point and links the garden with the interior design.
As part of the renovation of a contemporary home in a mature rural setting principal designer was asked to reconfigure the garden to connect the outside social spaces, privacy & create a cohesive setting for the swimming pool. New trees were planted on the driveway to screen from neighbours, wide asymmetrical steps lead from the kitchen into the garden, spaces were carved out for dining & relaxing at all times of day. A hierarchy of parking spaces was introduced, to distinguish the owner’s garage area from visitors’ cars.
This converted barn is the weekend home of a young family who wanted a garden where they could spend as much time outside as possible. Asking for sheltered, tranquil spaces, expansive views & sumptuous planting thriving e on the restricted maintenance that their lifestyle imposes. The resulting design includes an outdoor living room sheltered by flint walls, and an oak & stone kitchen. A cobbled courtyard catches the afternoon sun & rain garden dissects the courtyard with exuberant planting designed for maximum impact and year-round drama.
Walled Garden, Buckinghamshire
The designer was initially commissioned to produce a landscape masterplan for the estate surrounding a Grade 1-listed Queen Anne house. The client then requested a detailed hard landscape plan for the walled garden, with axial footpaths, the creation of vistas, seating areas, ornamental pools & the areas around a swimming pool and pool house. Working with the head gardener, a design was developed that introduced varying levels to dramatise the approach, enhance the sense of enclosure, play with light and shadow, and create the opportunity for an infinity-edged pool.
This renovated and reconfigured contemporary house needed a garden that would anchor it within its mature rural setting. The client specifically requested improved parking provision, greater privacy for all bedrooms, spaces for dining and relaxing at different times of day and a low-maintenance planting scheme in a palette to harmonise both with the house and the Grade II-listed wall enclosing the property. A carefully edited selection of plants, many chosen for their winter outline as much as their summer form, was used across the various zones of the garden and around the improved swimming pool area.