Maintenance: Four to six hours a month
Type of design: Formal
Seating area: Sits four to six
Lawn: Artificial grass
Features: A water feature, lighting and topiary
Notes: “The design needs to be sharp and create a visual impression, but it must still be a practical family garden. We’re happy with a high-maintenance garden as we have lots of time to maintain it. We want a more formal cottage design, so a mixture of Victorian and Cottage.”
In this design, we amalgamated two styles: Cottage and Victorian. The central pathway and the main garden with its tall hedges add structure and an element of precision. Such precision adds grandeur, concentrating your attention towards the summer house at the back.
A cottage garden has been designed around the periphery. The softness of such a style tempers the central structure, creating a delicate feathery organic feel.
A pathway takes you through the centre of the garden, past the water feature and on to the summer house. The tall, circular hedge breaks your line of sight, taking your focus to the lush, coloured planting on the left and the right.
Balls have been planted on either side of the pathway to further slow the visual acceleration to the back of the garden. A pastoral colour palette, consisting of blue, white and purple flowers, has been used to create a clean, elegant and pristine effect. The flowers must fall into the backdrop and not take impact away from the hedge and balls.
We needed to light both the Cottage and Victorian parts of the garden to encourage the symbiosis of styles in the evening, which proved to be particularly challenging. Normally, we would light the main structural plants in the more formal part of the garden. To light the cottage part of the garden, bollard lights were added to light the colourful flowers below them.
With a garden as large as this, you might not want to have the whole thing lit at once to save on energy costs, especially as most of the lights are hidden from view from the house. We recommend lighting a garden like this in three phases, controlled with switches that turn on the lights one phase at a time. The first switch would light specific plants, creating an ambient atmosphere when viewed from the house. The second switch would control the lights around the summer house, so the garden can be enjoyed at night from this aspect. The third switch would turn the remaining lights on in areas that can be seen from the seating areas.
(click to enlarge)