Autumn colours in the garden are amazing this year

Mill Hill garden

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232x257px_millhill_drawing232x576px_millhill_planThe client, a keen gardener, had just moved to the property but wasn’t sure where to start with the garden. From the patio a straight path led to a large orange shed, which was the main thing you saw from the house. On the left of the path was a lawn and on the right a flower bed.

As the budget was small, I suggested we retain the hard landscaping while clearly dividing the garden into three sections to slow down the journey through it. The first thing to do was paint the shed so that it became a feature rather than something to hide.

The oval lawn now forms a separate garden ‘room’ with plenty of space for planting. A weeping Cotoneaster invites the visitor to venture up the garden path. A small mountain ash towards the top of the garden is a focal point and an archway leads into the top third of the garden – a further seating area with raised vegetable beds.

Highgate front garden

This Victorian terrace front garden had become overgrown and the client, an artist and gardener herself, wanted cleaner more contemporary planting, while keeping the traditional hard landscaping. We decided to retain the lovely silver-leafed weeping pear as a dominant feature and create a strong design around that.

In a front garden it is important that the planting creates impact as an entrance and looks good all year round. The garden is built on a slope so neat box edging with Libertia rising above it ensure the garden also looks interesting from street level. In the final agreed scheme I have tried to give a sense of her love of plants and personality.

Harlesden front garden

232x174px_HarlesdenFront1232x360px_HarlesdenFront2The designer’s own garden, this south facing plot was an opportunity to finally indulge in some favourite sun-loving plants.

A new brick wall and hard landscaping of strong geometric shapes complement the aesthetics of the Edwardian architecture. A balance is struck between the formal practicality of a London front garden and Mediterranean planting. Deep flower beds are bordered with lavender balls which emphasise the structure while filling the garden with perfume. Within these borders the planting is freer and naturalistic. An olive tree provides a strong focal point.

Harlesden rear garden

This north facing garden is situated on an upward slope, with a particularly steep rise just outside the house. It provides a tranquil and practical outdoor space as well as a beautiful view from the house.

The hard landscaping was designed to complement the brickwork and strong architecture of the Edwardian town house and provide a structure for the soft informal planting.

The garden appears larger than it is. Wide steps lead onto the lawn, which makes the approach to the garden appear more expansive, and the placing of shrubs and taller plants ensures that the whole garden is not immediately visible from the house. Planting is varied and includes vegetables and fruit, grown amongst the ornamental plants, and is designed to encourage wildlife.

Notting Hill courtyard

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Surrounded by high brick walls and tall buildings, this small basement garden presented a challenge. The aim was to provide attractive views from inside the house as well as a naturalistically planted space in which to relax and entertain.

Even in a small garden it is possible to surprise and create and illusion of space. This was achieved by creating interest with three distinct areas. The first is a sunny patio and seating area, surrounded by containers. Steps lead up into the garden to a seat surrounded by colourful and aromatic plants. From here a path leads to a focal point and shady area of woodland planting.

Hackney courtyard

232x174px_Before-plantingA small garden, such as this, needs to function well as an additional room. The aim was to create a tranquil and peaceful retreat from town life as well as an attractive view from inside the house.

232x174px_DSC_1325A crab apple tree in the corner is a focal point, its blossom and fruits providing year round interest. Evergreen climbers, shrubs and ground cover form a backdrop to the varied planting. Peace and harmony are created with sweet smelling herbs and roses in the sun, and gentle woodland planting on the shadier side of the garden.