Hampstead Chic

Modern, stylish and visible quality were the requirements for this garden intended for entertaining and as an appropriate backdrop to an elegant house. The clients did not want to spend a lot of time on maintenance and wanted to use a muted pallet of colours.
The existing garden was the direct opposite of the brief: gloomy, difficult to use because of the multiple levels, dominated by dark brick walls which cut the garden into tiny spaces, and all requiring constant maintenance.
Issues of space and light were quickly addressed by removing intrusive brickwork, replacing block paving with white sandstone and by painting the remaining boundary walls white.
The planting would be simple but dramatic: a combination of architectural trees and formal box hedging. Good preparation is essential when planting high value stock such as these pleached Pyrus.
With the trees delivered the modern looking fence extension could be added to the top of the party wall. This was necessary as the garden is otherwise overlooked.
Creating sufficient usable space was achieved by dividing the garden between just two levels: the lower area with lawn and plants and the upper one at house level constructed of paving and deck. Solid framing is critical for a project like this.
The two levels are joined together by a flying staircase: designed with a shallow pitch and broad treads, it invites a graceful descent. The area under the deck will be boarded in to provide storage and to house elements of the irrigation system and remote controlled lighting.
Hardwood decking is not only very durable it also looks fantastic. Laid using invisible fixing techniques and with very narrow joints, it will mirror the high quality flooring used inside the house.
To maintain an open feel, the upper area was finished with a powder-coated balustrade with wire-rope infill. Artificial turf will minimize maintenance and ensure the garden looks lush all year round, while lights let into the deck and illuminating the trees ensure the garden continues to work after the sun has gone down.
A strong design, excellent materials, precise execution.
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Copyright Urban Idyll Ltd 2011