THE TALE OF TWO GARDENS
One of the aspects I love the most in my job is that each project is intrinsically different and caters for different people and needs. I always ask many questions about my clients' lifestyles to try and gauge as precisely as I can what makes them tick, how they’re likely to engage with the garden, beyond their wish list. And of course the site and surroundings dictates a lot of the design.
In this example I designed two completely different gardens despite the two plots being almost identical in shape, location and size and next door to each other. I designed the first garden (pictured here on the right) for a retired couple who had downsized from a large property with a large garden to a smaller house in an award winning sustainable high quality modern development designed by Foster Lomas. My clients have developed a taste for modern and pared down design while having a penchant for beautiful planting combinations, having enjoyed nurturing a much larger garden in the countryside for years which they still own and visit at the weekend. The minute garden (8x5m) is at an angle and Foster Lomas have extended the internal polished concrete flooring outside by a meter or so following the angle of the rear boundary. This is a great detail that blends the inside and outside and stretches the indoor space into the garden. Both my clients and I were keen to take the cue from it. Therefore the layout of the whole garden derives from this line, following it in some places and deconstructing it in others. After I had completed this garden, the young family next door contacted me to redesign theirs. How interesting I thought as their profile, temperament, lifestyle and stage in their lives were totally different. Therefore despite an identical site, the brief was so different! I’ve found this exercise fascinating and have enjoyed it tremendously. The result is two gardens side to side that look and feel completely different while that sitting perfectly well within the same development and fitting each owner to a T.