Family Garden, Hertfordshire
The Garden Brief
The existing garden was a complete blank canvas. A new build property which is only a few months old.
Typical for a new build, the current garden has a few rows of paving slabs immediately off the back of the house. Then the rest is laid to lawn with good fences on all the boundaries. As is always the way with new build gardens, the default paving area is disproportionally small and not large enough for a family terrace.
Currently the garden feels stark and the boundaries imposing, as there is nothing in the garden. Despite being within the M25, the surroundings to the garden create a rural and peaceful setting. Mature trees line the back boundary and create a beautiful view. Beyond these trees are fields, the garden is barely overlooked apart from the immediate neighbours either side. The existing atmosphere is already quite calm with the rustling of the mature trees and birdlife living in these trees. The trees do shade the garden, but as the garden is south facing this shade is quite welcome.
The client’s wanted a garden which invited them in to explore, escape into and unwind from the everyday bustle. A productive area, large entertaining space, large lawn appropriate for visiting grandchildren, plenty of plants, shade for the dining area, softer boundaries, storage and interest in the garden all formed the practical side of the brief.
The Garden Design
I divided the garden into areas which are revealed as you move through the space. The zones have different uses, atmospheres and hierarchy. They create destinations in one overarching cohesive design.
Flow, intrigue and interest is brought to the garden with paths. The paths not only create routes to explore, but also frame inviting vistas both within the garden and from the house. The window views from the the house are carefully considered to draw you out into the garden, or enjoy from inside. Planting is brought right up to the house. Further blending the house to the garden and situating it within its surroundings.
The garden devolves in formality as you move through. Upon finally reaching the wilder area at the back stepping stones and curving paths draw you in and wind their way through the shady meadow.
Hedges, slatted screens and small trees create rhythm and structure within the shady meadow planting. They also bring height and break up the back fence. As a result this blends the garden with the mature trees behind and gives a feeling that the garden goes on into the greater landscape.
I created a new entertaining terrace enveloped by planting. A pergola and small multistem tree offer welcome shade to the space. This terrace links to the large lawn to form the hub of the garden and plenty of space for visiting family.
The evening light is made the most of with a seating area nestled amongst textural planting and evergreen hedges.
A structural framework of evergreen hedges and shrubs anchors the planting through out the garden and brings pleasing rhythm.