This client had lived in this house for a number of years when they decided that they would refurbish the entire house and garden. I knew the contractor who luckily recommended me to design the garden.
Originally the garden was a typical suburban garden that had a grass area, shrubs and trees around the edge, on a slope, and partly in the shade, with overhanging trees from neighbours. It was quite a sad garden, and not really one where you wanted to go.
The client had quite a specific brief for the overhaul, in that it should be easy to maintain, as they spent some time out of the country each year. It should also be reminiscent of a French garden/landscape, as that reminded them of their childhood and also where they lived in France.
That’s quite a challenge as we have a different climate, but once the structure of the plan was devised it was relatively easy to enhance it with flowering plants that have quite a long flowering time, are evergreen and need very little attention.
Instead of a sloping garden, I designed it to have a number of terraces, redolent of the gardens one sees in France, with fastigiate Cypress trees for structure and height, surrounded by low level plants that are generally evergreen, some flower some have interesting textures.
Closest to the house on the first level, I designed a ‘cloud’ formation, made up of Box varieties, all that need very little attention as they grow as balls, or columns or pyramids, and after a couple of years blend together to create an organic shape. It worked very well.
We installed new paving everywhere, with a rustic feel, concrete slabs that simulate limestone paviors, which are very expensive. It was used in different module sizes for some added interest.
Lighting also plays a part in this garden, with concealed lights under each cypress tree, in the pond and water feature and at low level on all of the steps and pathways, so that it creates light for seeing your way around, but is not so bright, it feels like daylight.