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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

How create a romantic cottage garden in a brutalist London estate?

The build of my E9 Romantic Garden started this week. The key challenge with this front garden is how to blend the Brutalist 1970's architecture of this London estate with the 'Romantic' cottage garden aesthetic that my client was looking for.

The terracing of the garden into 3 distinct areas has created 3 large planting areas which dissect the views and path of travel, and create secluded seating areas surrounded by abundant planting.

3D sketch up view of garden design with brick paths multi stem trees and cottage garden planting
Garden view from the house

The back bed which recieves all day sun will be dominated by a multistem Amelanchier, providing 3 seasons of interest and underplanted with edimentals, plants which are both edible and ornamental including Blackcurrant bushes, Chichory, Chives and Sage. A Wisteria and Trachelospernum (evergreen Jasmine) provide fragrant cover for the fencing.

images of plants and flowers with pink purple yellow and white theme
Planting palette

The main feature of the middle bed is a multistem Betula (Sliver Birch) which dissects the path,providing all year round visual interest, whilst obscuring the entrance gate. Flowering shrubs including Syringa (Lilac), Viburnum bodnatense 'Dawn' and Sambuscus Nigra will be the backbone of the garden, supported by climbing roses and Jasmine nudifolium (Winter flowering Jasmine), ensuring that fragrant flowering theme is carried throughout the seasons.

Cottage garden favourites feature strongly with Nepeta racemosa (Catmint), Salvia (Sage), Aquilegia and Anemones. The free flowering Rosa 'New Dawn' will be trained across the facade of the house.

Plan showing Romantic Garden planting
Planting Plan

The third planting area divides the two patios and is in shade for the majority of the day. The existing Acer will be transplanted here and underplanted with Ferns, Hellebores and Astrantia.

Spring bulbs will be planted throughout to extend the flowering season and a Sarcococca confusa in a large stone planter with provide fragrance through the Winter. Green roofs will be installed on the bike and bin stores to soften the hard landscaping further.

Watch this space for progress!


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