• Sarah Kay

2019 Review of Sarah Kay Garden Design

It's been a very busy year in the studio. Here's an overview of some of my projects, completed in 2019.


E1 Mediterranean Balcony

My first commission of the year was for a large E1 balcony. My client was planning to rent out their apartment and wanted to make the large L shaped terrace more appealing with plant and container choices that would be more appropriate to a sunny but windswept space.


Before - great views but uninspiring planting



I created a windbreak behind the L shaped sofa using Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' in the existing troughs combined with Lavendar


The heavy, moth infested Laurel shrubs were removed and replaced with Lavendar and the existing and new terracotta planters were arranged in small groups to break up the expanse of the terrace.



A herb area was created in the sunnniest part of the terrace with an Olive tree creating a focal point in the far corner. The Mediterranean planting scheme was enhanced with drought tolerant plants including Achillea, Artemisia and Agapanthus.


E20 Dog Friendly Courtyard and Roof Terrace


My client wanted a dog (and child friendly) courtyard and roof terrace for her new build house. She was looking to green up the rather stark outside spaces and create a downstairs space for dining and upstairs space for play and relaxation.

Large wooden planters containing a Tree fern, a Fatsia japonica and other shade tolerant ferns provides a striking view from the living room and bespoke oak shelves containing a variety of shade tolerant plants create a focal point from the kitchen. All plants are high enough to be out of reach of my client's dog.


The sunny roof terrace was overlooked by neighbour so an L shaped screen was created using polystone trough planters and black bamboo. Similar planters were used to partition the space with a Nandina domestica 'Obsessed', Stipa tennuisimma and Rosmarinus prostratus. Matching oak shelves contain a variety of sun loving perennials and provide an interesting view from the bedrooms. My client said " We love our new gardens - it feels as though the house has two new and lovely rooms. Would highly recommend "


E17 Secluded Family Garden


My next project was for a family in Walthamstow, looking for a low maintenance space in which they could entertain and relax.



Before - The garden was very overlooked

Privacy was the key issue with this garden. This was addressed with a Semiarundinaria fastuosa screen. A large seating dining area was created with a sandstone patio under a bold wooden pergola, painted dark grey to match the fencing. Flow around the garden was directed by two sleeper raised beds containing tall semi transparent plants including Miscanthus sinensis and Japanese Anemones. The oak decked path leads to an artificial lawn with a secondary seating area with bespoke oak bench to enjoy the best of the views from the garden.



My clients said " We found working with Sarah to be really easy & professional, her knowledge and eye for detail left us feeling we we're in safe hands throughout. Really nice to work with someone who cares so much about delivering a great outcome within our budget and timeline. Would definitely recommend."


E11 Wanstead Family Garden

My final completed project of 2019 was a garden that I'd designed in 2018, due to be built in March 2019 but I was let down by a landscaper. With a new landscaper on board, this garden was completed in October.


My clients were looking for a child-friendly garden, with some additional privacy from the neighbours that blended with the recent kitchen extension.


Before - small and broken patio and low fencing

A large raised sandstone patio was created, flanked by a sleeper raised bed/bench in which a focal point Cercis chinensis 'Avondale' tree is planted to provide some shade for the patio.


Boundaries were replaced with Jacksons Venetian hit and miss panels to provide some additional privacy and are softened with Trachelospernum jasminoides, Clematis armandii and Hydrangea petiolaris.


The existing Cherry tree was replaced by an Almelanchier lamarkii which provides long seasonal interest and a new lawn was installed.



A new shed is due to be installed in the Autumn so I will return in the Spring to see how the garden is establishing.


Many thanks to all my collaborators on these gardens, Nordland Landscapes, Provender Nurseries and Paramount Plants and to Paul and Agathe for their help with the planting.


Looking forward to new projects in 2020. If would like to arrange a consultation please contact me today.





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Sarah Kay Garden Design, London E5

T:07967201333    E:sarah@sarahkaygardendesign.co.uk

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