Large Garden in Barnes

This is one of the most unusual gardens we have designed. Due to the tricky layout, it presented quite a design challenge. Our clients house is on the apex of a crescent so although it has a wide facade at the front, the footprint narrows down to only about 3.5m at the rear. The garden doors opening from the kitchen lead on to an immensely (20m) long passageway with boundary walls on both sides leading to the main garden at the end. There the 150 sq m space is very irregular in shape and surrounded by seven different neighbouring gardens.

Our clients found that they were not using the garden enough, partly because of the long passageway and partly as there was simply nothing to really attract them down there. They wanted a garden design which was more planterly and elegant and, at the same time, more adapted to their needs.

First of all, we softened the long passageway using limestone paving interspersed with gravel and gravel planting and arches with climbers and roses which break up the vista. Beyond, in the main garden, the path leads to a circular firepit and L-shaped bench clad in the same limestone with an avenue of pleached hornbeams immediately behind, helping lead the eye down to another arch beyond.

From the firepit and bench extends a large elliptical lawn which is the centrepiece of the garden. The borders of the lawn are punctuated with large Buxus globes and surrounded by a range of shrubs including Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle, Sarcococca confusa, Hebe parviflora angustifolia and Hydrangea quercifolia, and some small specimen trees. Perennials including gaura, helleborus, alchemilla, sedum, knautia, salvia and digitalis flow through grasses including Stipa and Molinia. Rills of gallium, vinca and thyme punctuate the paving and the gravel. Our client also wanted to grow sweet peas so Charlotte Rowe Garden Design found some distressed metal globes and the sweet peas grow through them in the summer.

New old stock brick walls had recently been built on all boundaries apart from one so we designed a dark grey wide slatted fence along that one side which is planted with a number of Trachelospermum jasminoides evergreen climbers.

As well as the firepit which, when lit, gives a wonderful warm glow, there is a range of garden lighting to highlight particular features of the garden, in particular the trees and planted arches. In addition, there is a moonlight effect onto the lawn.