We were appointed to design a large family garden in Chester and asked to maximise the lawn for a play area but provide enough interest for the ‘grown ups’.

The main priority was to create an extensive new dining terrace that would extend the entire width of the property.  A set of generously wide steps provide access to the lawn. These also  act as a seating area from which to watch the children playing. From here they also enjoy the view across the lawns to the ‘secret ‘garden. Tall planting is introduced adjacent to the terrace to be be enjoyed from within the house and when sitting on the terrace.

A ‘Secret’ Garden

The client wanted a ‘secret’ garden, the layout of which we based loosely on the art of Mondrian. It is a geometric pattern with squares of plants, gravel or large stones to create a patchwork of different textures. A timber fence of uprights and horizontals painted in black further reinforce this link to Mondrian A series of black timber posts directing the path around the secret garden. A larger gravel area is provided for a small ‘hidden’ seating area.

A memento from their recent trip to China takes pride of place amongst the planting. It is a metal statue not unlike the terracotta warriors. This has influenced the colour palette for the planting of warm bronzes and oranges that contrast boldly against the black paintwork. Texture is found not only in the materials used to build the garden but also in the planting choices. Bright Geums and Leucanthemums are softened by wispy grasses.

The finished design is loved by the client and her family. She claims that it successfully reflects her own artistic taste whilst providing all the space the children could wish for.

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