A “Staycation” Garden…
Have you ever been in a well designed setting and felt that you where on holiday? That’s exactly what a lady called and asked me for in April 2013. First on the list for the brief was a palm tree. Raised beds where mentioned as well as garden lighting. The garden could be a little windy but was generally quite sunny although a rather massive brick wall just beyond the space was feeling a bit dominating.
Fortunately there was a slope to work with but other than that nothing to take into consideration.
We looked at some options but my client was quick to go for circles and curves which worked well for the path connecting the upper and lower areas. Although I put the plants in last on my designs I am always thinking of how I can utilise their height and mass to ‘hide and reveal’ different areas of the garden.
We used a silvery basalt paving for the upper terrace with the edge formed by a curved aluminium edging. Stabilised gravel was used to fill the curves areas. As the change in level increased I designed rendered walls which could be built to a curve with the render left rough. For the lower seating area I fitted in a very bold semi-circular seat with a circle of Cedar decking in front. When painted white the walls and seating are reminiscent of houses on Greece Islands.
I knew one Palm tree on its own would look very lonely so I used a group of three shorter Trachycarpus fortunei as well as a single tall specimen. They had to occupy the key points and start the semi-screening between the upper and lower areas. The planting I have kept almost all green with white flowers. Very subtle and quite tropical.
The lighting had to be carefully placed so as create atmosphere. A few small lights where place into walls but the step risers. I never see the point of putting them there, they shine in your face but don’t spread much light. Having kept the garden very sophisticated and white my client went for colour changing lighting so that at night the garden can be any colour she wants.