Urban Fireside Garden

This small (8 x 5 metre) town garden has more of the feel of Santa Fe than London; but in reality, it is located in central London where the temperatures stay closer to 10 degrees than 30 degrees for most of the year.

Charlotte Rowe Garden Design wanted to create a simple uncluttered space with good bone structure and strong bold lines – set off by soft lush planting. We also decided to make the space as usable as possible throughout the year by building an external fireplace and making sure the garden lighting was dramatic and atmospheric. The fireplace, which is set against the 4m high end wall of the garden, is the centrepiece. On either side are raised planting beds, seats and benches in block work and timber which have specially made cushions and mattresses for use in the summer. The paving is cream-coloured limestone, complemented by a narrow strip of Cedar decking. Two planting beds divide the space in two, creating an illusion of additional space. There are three pleached ornamental pear trees placed against the end wall behind the fireplace and espaliered fig trees against the South Western facing wall.

Down the side of the house we constructed a long timber storage cupboard and shelf of limestone topped with a decorative back-lit trellis. Very tall planters containing low clipped Buxus are placed outside the two tall windows of this extension.

Dramatic lighting is a key feature of this garden. There is a number of adjustable spike spots uplighting plants, in particular the espaliered fig trees and the pear trees. There isĀ also LED uplighting embedded into the top of the side walls and rope lighting under the timber bench and around the fireplace.