DREAM GAR­DEN

Com­ple­men­tary tex­tures and colours cre­ate the per­fect fu­sion be­tween this state-of-the-art house and its con­tem­po­rary gar­den

Homes & Gardens - - CONTENTS -

Sub­tle shades and soft tex­tures were used to cre­ate a con­tem­po­rary gar­den that care­fully echoes the colours and shapes of the build­ing it sur­rounds.

DE­SIGNER PRO­FILE He­len Elks-smith MSGD trained as a gar­den de­signer at Writ­tle Univer­sity Col­lege in Es­sex. She started her de­sign prac­tice in 2004 when she moved to Hamp­shire and won a gold medal at the RHS Hamp­ton Court Flower Show in 2016 for her Zoflora gar­den.

WHAT DID THIS GAR­DEN LOOK LIKE BE­FORE YOUR NEW DE­SIGN?

The gar­den was mostly laid to lawn, with an out­door swim­ming pool and ma­ture trees. The prop­erty was the former kitchen gar­den of a larger house, and it is sur­rounded by an old listed brick wall, with a sin­gle-storey house in the cen­tre. The own­ers had com­mis­sioned ar­chi­tect Dan Brill to re­con­fig­ure the house, and the area we can see here is the bed­room wing, which looks out on to the swim­ming pool; the kitchen and din­ing ar­eas are be­hind it in the mid­dle of the house, while a garage, util­ity room and sit­ting room make up the west wing.

TELL US ABOUT THE DE­SIGN BRIEF FOR THE GAR­DEN.

My brief was for a fam­ily gar­den, with a din­ing area, kitchen gar­den and lawns for the own­ers’ chil­dren, as well as more se­cluded ar­eas around the bed­rooms. The own­ers wanted some­thing mod­ern that would com­ple­ment the house’s con­tem­po­rary ar­chi­tec­ture.

HOW DOES YOUR DE­SIGN MEET THE BRIEF?

I de­signed two key so­cial spa­ces out­side the din­ing room and kitchen, with ta­ble and chairs, so­fas and a lawn. The bed­room wing was more prob­lem­atic, since it needed to be screened from the pool, but still main­tain a con­nec­tion be­tween the house and the rest of the gar­den. My so­lu­tion was to de­sign a se­ries of slop­ing ter­races lead­ing out from each of the bed­room doors, with beds of tex­tu­ral plant­ing be­tween them to cre­ate a feel­ing of en­clo­sure and pri­vacy. A gravel path edged with Stipa gi­gan­tea (grasses) sep­a­rates the ter­races from the pool. The lin­ear paved ar­eas echo the build­ing’s block-like form, and the sim­ple plant­ing and colours give the gar­den a con­tem­po­rary look.

WHAT IN­SPIRED YOUR PLANT­ING CHOICES?

I wanted the plant­ing to sit qui­etly in the land­scape, flow­ing out from the rooms but not tak­ing too much at­ten­tion away from the build­ing. The or­na­men­tal grasses, se­dums and phlomis seed­heads re­flect the colours of the listed brick wall and com­ple­ment the build­ing’s black glass pan­els, while pro­vid­ing the tex­tu­ral qual­ity I wanted. To cre­ate height and struc­ture, I have in­cluded Ame­lanchier trees, which have flow­ers and bronze-tinted fo­liage in spring, fol­lowed by small pur­ple berries and red leaves in au­tumn. The Cer­cis canaden­sis ‘For­est Pansy’ also adds height and its dark-pur­ple leaves cre­ate splashes of colour that are picked up in other plants, such as the Acan­thus spinosus (bear’s breeches) and He­me­ro­cal­lis ‘Sweet Hot Cho­co­late’.

WHICH PLANTS WOULD YOU REC­OM­MEND FOR AU­TUMN AND WIN­TER?

I would choose plants with strong win­ter out­lines and in­ter­est­ing seed­heads and bark, with a few sea­sonal flow­er­ing shrubs, such as Sar­co­cocca con­fusa (sweet box) and Lon­icera fra­grantis­sima (win­ter hon­ey­suckle). The grasses here in­clude Ane­man­thele lesso­ni­ana (pheas­ant’s tail grass) and Hakonechloa macra, which are both semi-ev­er­green and have rus­set tones in au­tumn and win­ter. Th­ese pro­vide a per­fect match for the pink au­tumn flow­ers and dark fo­liage of the se­dum Hy­lotele­phium ‘Ma­trona’ – the seed­heads and stems of

The or­na­men­tal grasses, se­dums and phlomis seed­heads pro­vide the tex­tu­ral qual­ity I wanted.”

this peren­nial plant then turn bronze over win­ter. Sil­very ev­er­green San­tolina chamae­cy­paris­sus (cot­ton laven­der) and the glossy green leaves of Choisya ter­nata (Mex­i­can or­ange blos­som) will also brighten up your gar­den in the dark­est days of win­ter.

HOW DO YOU LINK THE GAR­DEN WITH THE HOUSE?

Us­ing con­sis­tent, re­peated shapes that re­late to the mea­sure­ments of the house’s fa­cade, and to its win­dows and doors, will help to un­der­pin the con­nec­tion be­tween your home and gar­den. Hard land­scap­ing ma­te­ri­als will also sit more qui­etly and sup­port the plant­ing vis­ually if the colour and tex­ture com­ple­ments those used on the house. Here, the flamed black basalt paving and gravel pick up the black glass pan­els, and the red cedar­wood cladding on the build­ing also com­ple­ments the colours of the grasses, phlomis seed­heads and se­dum flower buds.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.