Maintenance: Two hours a month
Type of design: Modern
Seating area: Sits eight
Features: Lighting and lots of grasses
Notes: “I want a garden that provides the X factor. As much as I like gardening and planting, I work long hours, so I don’t have the time to spend maintaining it. I like the idea of having a stepped garden rather than a garden on a flat level. I would like two seating areas, with the primary seating area to contain a four-seater patio table and chairs. The other should be large enough to seat a bench.”
The garden is on two levels with a front-facing granite wall retaining the soil and providing the step up. The granite step provides a frame for the garden.
The contrast between the grey granite and the lawn is especially attractive in a smaller garden. In larger gardens, such contrasts can get lost.
We used Buxus (Box) at the front of the border to hide the base of the plants, setting off the foliage while concealing the stems, which are the least attractive part of the plant. Grasses grow behind the hedge. The textural complementation of the formed hedge and the feathery grasses create a unique central focal point.
Grasses form the essence of the planting. The soft feathery architecture softens the angular shape of the garden. Rather than picking lots of colours, we opted for different greens. The foliage colour is governed by the hard landscaping as there must be a set percentage of green against it. The more paving you have, the more greens are needed.
There are a number of types of lights: bollard lights, inset lights in the paving and spotlights. In small gardens, lighting needs to be layered. Using bollard lights creates a warm glow on the paving below, lighting key points of the layout. Lights in the paving grab your attention and take you on a journey around the garden. The brightest of the lights are the spotlights that light the grasses and the main feature.
The bollard lights are stainless steel, so they act as a feature in the day, looking like contemporary steel pillars. The inset lights are also stainless steel, and the grey of the steel complements the grey stone paving. The spotlights are high-quality black plastic. We never recommend steel for spotlights as they would draw your attention.
(click to enlarge)