Townhouse Garden Design with Structure & Style
Earlier this year, the owner of a large Townhouse who was planning a major refurbishment of the property, contacted us to seek our advice and assistance to design and re-build a new garden to replace an old garden which had become overgrown with cumbersome planting and provided little means to enjoy any outdoor living. The sample photos provide some evidence of how jaded the garden had become. From the outset it was clear, that several elements demanded immediate attention, including provisioning of Patio area(s), a unified boundary which would not only be more defined but also conceal some of the rather unsightly appearances of the concrete posts and plinths of the panel fences as well as the exposed blockwork on the opposite boundary wall. The side access although generous and long resembled more an alley way and displaying all the signs of having been overlooked. To complete the visual disharmony, concrete pathways were in abundance and exceptional number of AJs were all too conspicuous given the overall scale of the property. To begin with all tree and shrub planting was removed including all roots. The design plan was to instal wall cladding on all three sides of the boundary walls/fencing within the main garden. Plan included two Patio areas, one main and a smaller 'Bistro size' Patio nearer the house. All stone work (paving, setts and step risers) would be Indian Sandstone (Mint). The side access was also to be paved to link with main garden area, also a separate seating and planting area would also create a more secluded 'shaded garden' space within this area, and a trellis screen would be used to screen waste bins at rear entrance and well away from the main garden area. Garden lighting was positioned to provide individual lighting zones (four in total: specimen planting, main patio and perimter borders, olive tree and side area), offering flexibility to light owner depending on use. The appeal and simple line of timber cladding is well illustrated here and to conceal the rather uneven but distinctive curve section of walling, this was clad with a double line of timber laths (fixed vertically) to provide a subtle but otherwise a favourable and compatible finish with the otherwise horizontal lines of the timber wall cladding. All timber works were painted in a dark tone of green to provide a uniform look but also a 'green' backdrop and less requirement for bulk planting. The exception being a beatiful specimen of the Olive tree in rear corner to counter balance an otherwise dominant appearance of the main circular Patio. From start to finish, this project was completed in less time than a typical 2 week summer holiday. A great surprise for the owner upon return. As is the case in all gardens, but especially a townhouse garden functionality is very important, space is a premium and in such cases although planting can and is also important, use of space is probably more important than appearance. However in this project and similar, where timber cladding is featured, the results clearly demonstrate that timber fencing/cladding can make a major contribution to achieving structure but style in a garden. In this instance I believe the green tones provide a relaxed and calming backdrop to the simple geometry of the layout and results in a garden that has not only clear useable spaces, defined gentle curves and a selection of planting that provides year round interest without any significant regular maintenance requirements. In terms of design, structure, style and functionality are all critical elements of successful townhouse garden design and attention to detail and quality of finish are essential pre-requisites.
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