A cool clean redesign for a 1920’s house front garden. The use of hard surfaces is minimised as there is a gravel stabilising grille just below the surface holding it all in place. This plastic grille is made from recycled plastic, and the low retaining wall on the left was made with stone from the previous ‘drive’ surface.
Rainwater drains through rather than off.
And this is what used to be there….
This is a fantastic all oak fence made with panels, trellis, and posts supplied by Quercus. The woven construction allows light and air to filter through, it looks stunning and will last a long, long time.
About half of the deck was removed to make a play area for children (the trampoline is behind me), and a quiet seating spot. The lawn was taken up, extended and returfed, the rock borders remodelled and new planting added. The overgrown shrubs are slowly being reduced or replaced, this is an ongoing project.
The small courtyard space outside the back door was ‘greened’ by adding the rose Mme Alfred Carriere which is trained to grow over a frame of vine eyes and wire. In the passage we put a deck walkway and edged it with large cobbles.
I am now hosting a beehive, courtesy of Sharon from The London Beekeepers Association. In the first photo we can see a frame with a good amount of honey collected. In the second photo, from lower down the hive a frame from the brood chamber. Sharon is slowly teaching me how to keep bees (when I’m not at work).
A weed? or good for the bees, Pilosella aurantiaca
looking a bit like a sea anenome – Grevillea rosmarinifolia
brilliant acid colours for months, Euphorbia schillingii
Helianthus annuus – Velvet Queen, looks great. Multiple heads are a bonus
Off street parking with ground re-inforcing cells infilled with topsoil and seeded to make a drive on lawn. The cells take the direct weight of the car so the lawn isn’t worn down. Yorkstone slabs from the previous path were re-used, and slabs dug up when excavating for the driveway were used to make the wall. (The clients excellent idea)
A courtyard garden enclosed on three sides by white walls, designed for all the ages of occupants living in the owner-occupier flats it provides outside space for.
The unseen surface of this driveway is recycled plastic cells which in this instance have been filled with red Porphry chippings. The cell structure, known as ground re-inforcing cells, allow for complete drainage of rainwater through them, so are very environmentally friendly. Originally the garden had a retaining wall of large boulders, these were re-used in the new steps. The planting has a front hedge of Perovskia, backed by grasses, with all year interest provided by a yellow leaved Phormium and a small Cortaderia. Ground cover is Ophiopogon bodinieri with Crambe maritimus emerging annually followed by Sanguisorba officinallis planted among the grasses
Western Red Cedar decking inset with galvanised steel grilles, making a seating platform outside the french doors of this Victorian terrace house. Limestone paving with a granite sett detail. The Phillipe Starck chairs and clients quirky collection pieces add style and charm.
Aeonium schwartkop Kniphofia
On Camden High Street, a block of flats for a Housing Association, the first floor terrace needed seating and greenery. Nothing could be fixed down, nothing could be light enough to be lifted. My solution was to combine the seat with the planting and so give some privacy to anyone using the benches.
This is my garden office which I built using part of a kit from Tomoku Hus, a Swedish prefab house manufacturer. The walls came as ready to erect units with triple glazed door and windows already fitted. These wall units are made using wood from sustainable sources, insulated with mineral wool. I designed a roof structure that allowed me to have a ‘living roof’ on one side and a cedar shingle side for harvesting rainwater. I didn’t want the living roof to sit on top of a finished roof but for the roof pitch to be a clean line, so the living roof is recessed. The living roof has a substrate of crushed recycled building waste mixed with some compost to make a low nutrient environment for anything that can, to germinate in. The rainwater run-off from this side of the roof is connected to land drainage perforated pipe which is buried and runs out across the vegetable garden. The outside walls of the building are clad in Western Red Cedar which doesn’t need painting or treating, and it fades to grey with time.
I designed this water feature to be interactive and safe for the junior school playground. The surrounding is made using a variety of metals, copper hills, stainless steel hills, lead clouds. Richard Pell manufactured the pieces and I installed them.