Cool Contemporary Classic

Charlotte Rowe was asked to create a contemporary garden for a young couple who were re-styling an early 19th-century townhouse in Notting Hill. They wanted increased privacy as well as wow factor and were keen to use a pale, cool colour palette and high-spec finishes with rich, lush planting for all-year-round interest.

The site is long and narrow and the garden was on two different levels with a couple of unattractive staircases providing access from the lower ground floor and mezzanine level. These staircases pushed right into the garden, wasting valuable space.

Charlotte Rowe Garden Design decided to lower the level of the main part of the garden quite substantially and rationalise the stairs so that more space could be used for the garden itself. This had two other benefits, the view from the lower ground floor to the garden is now greatly improved and additional privacy has been achieved in the garden by pushing the level of the garden down.

The focal point of the garden is a 10 metre long water rill with two copper spouts which is cut into the cream limestone paving and is bridged by two cedar decked pontoons. Set into the pontoons are two multi-stemmed specimen trees. The planting is low key and rhythmic with a rich green, cream and blue/purple palette. There is a row of dramatically uplit pleached Hornbeams at the far end of the garden which helps screen the view of the buildings beyond.

The lighting in the garden is stunning and is centred around the long water which is lit down its entire length.