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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

Blending Romance and Brutalism - my design for an E5 Romantic Garden

After 3 weeks rest and recuperation, I'm back in the studio this week finalising my design for an E5 Romantic Garden in a 1970's Hackney housing estate.

My client would like a garden that is reminiscent of their grandma's garden, containing lots of roses and flowering shrubs, as well as cottage garden plants and edibles The challenge is how to balance this with the brutalist architecture of the house and allow enough space for seating areas and easy access around the garden.

plan view of the garden design with labels
Final Layout Design

The garden slopes upward from the front door to the gate so my first recommendation is to create flat terraces which allow for three sections with slightly different uses.

The terraces will be created using red stock bricks that blend with the house architecture but also lend themselves to a more traditional look.

The lower brick terrace near the house is North facing and therefore does not receive much sun, providing a shady seating area in the height of Summer. A climbing rose trained on trellis wires will adorn the façade of the house, softening the exterior, and planting in the bed in front will contain the existing Acer and shade tolerant ferns and Hellebores.

3D visualisation of the view from the back gate
View from the back gate

A brick path leads up a step to a contemporary take on a 'crazy paving' dining patio, using reclaimed floor tiles in terracotta, cream and blue/grey tiles. This patio will house a table and benches, and will be enclosed by planting with fragrant climbers along the fencing and a flower bed cutting across the garden. Receiving afternoon sun this bed will contain a multi stem Silver Birch, flowering shrubs and cottage garden perennials, providing all year round colour and interest.

3D visual of view from house
View from house (house facade removed)

The upper terrace will feature a brick raised bed, containing a multi Amelanchier and a mixture of ornamentals and edibles, as this will receive the most sun.

All the fencing will be replaced with new close board panels with a horizontal batten trellis, to increase privacy and the existing bin store and shed will have green roofs installed to increase the green material in the garden.

I'm hoping this garden will be built in Spring 2024. Watch this space for progress.


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