Notting Hill Garden

This contemporary urban garden is a design classic with cream limestone, a water rill cutting across the garden, strong architectural bone structure and rich planting.

Our clients had owned the house for 20 years, but with the children growing up their needs had changed and they were undertaking a major refurbishment to modernise the house and felt that the garden needed a total overhaul as well. As our clients have a large country garden in Oxfordshire, they wanted the London garden to be a stylish urban space with contemporary, elegant design using simple materials and formal low-maintenance planting to soften the architectural structure of the space.

The main part of the South East-facing garden is almost square (8m x 10.5m); so to fit in both a dining area and built-in sitting area to catch the Westerly sun, we created a journey from the stairs down from the upper terrace and from the second flight of stairs from the lower ground floor. This journey takes one through the garden over a long water channel via stepping stones, weaving through two small umbrella top multi-stem Amelanchier lamarckii under-planted with Hackonechloa macra, to a dining area on one side and finally to an L-shaped bench and coffee table.

The planting is simple but effective. In addition to an existing Magnolia grandiflora and a new row of pleached Carpinus betulus to provide screening, there are square clipped Buxus, underplanted with Galium odoratum in the main bed, and mixed planting in the two other main planting beds including Euphorbia charachias ‘Humpty Dumpty’, Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’, Sarcococca¬†hookeriana var digyna and Sedum ‘Iceberg’.

Tall stoneware planters placed on the lower terrace and are lit from above and planted with Buxus globes and there is a large shallow discus-shaped planter on the storage cupboard, planted with culinary herbs.

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