Garden designs before and after inspiration and ideas

11 GARDEN DESIGNS | before and after


Amir Schlezinger | MyLandscapes


Clients use different terminology to define what they like or dislike, want or avoid in a residential garden design project: transform, makeover, redesign or modernise. Whatever the term is, for me one element remains the same – utilise my design skills and experience to maximise an outdoor space and provide expert advice. Yet every space requires different treatments – at times it's all about retaining the essence with a simple restoration, while on other occasions it's about updating and introducing a contemporary design to a tired scheme. Sometimes the client's ambition is the driving force, or the site's natural beauty provides the overriding factor. Planning the project ahead, at the right time, with the right plan and suitable garden designer – is unsurprisingly fundamental.


1. Regent's Park 2. Hampstead 3. Highbury 4. Highgate 5. Chelsea 6. Fulham 7. Stockwell 8. Saffron Walden 9. Mayfair 10. Covent Garden 11. Parliament Hill

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  1. REGENT'S PARK | north London

This north London house had a roof terrace and back garden to transform. The design needed to maximise the space, relate to the interior and consider some existing trees and high soil levels around the edges. With the large family consisting of children of varying ages, the garden design had to conserve open spaces and include fun areas that will cater for the adults at the same time – visually and practically.



Regent's Park garden BeforeRegent's Park garden | After



  2. HAMPSTEAD | exotic garden

This was a fairly neglected small courtyard, which had great potential. With a private, intimate feel and a south-west aspect the space has a charm and a warmer microclimate. The element of water works on a few levels – generating white noise, while enriching the Asian jungle theme. The project formed a case study in designing with exotic palm trees juxtaposed with a water feature. It seems that even Truman the Tibetan Terrier agrees.



Transformation of Hampstead garden BeforeTransformation of Hampstead garden | After




  3. HIGHBURY | contemporary garden

It's usually fairly obvious when the developer tries to create a decent garden for a new build town house in London. But rocks and gravel just didn't cut it. The trees, however, were of mature growth by now and in good condition so I retained all of them and created a garden design with a floor pattern which considers their positions.



Makeover of Highbury garden BeforeMakeover of Highbury garden | After



  4. HIGHGATE | rooftop terrace redesign

The heavy, dark looking brown bricks of this 80's built London house can appear oppressive at times. Therefore, rendering the interior walls of the roof terrace and painting them in a pale colour enlivens the space. Buff sandstone floating steps, glossy foliage and stainless steel brightens the mood in this wonderful space surrounded by woodland high up in North London's Highgate.
View a similar roof terrace design.



Contemporary roof terrace redesign beforeContemporary roof terrace redesign | After



  5. CHELSEA | roof garden landscape

With commanding views all over London right above Chelsea Bridge, this roof was a bland space created by the developer – made of concrete slabs and grass lawns. With such a contemporary penthouse and urban outlook, the terrace needed a low maintenance scheme with an interesting surface. The garden design incorporates good lighting and tough yet architectural vegetation to suit the location.



Chelsea roof terrace | BeforeChelsea roof terrace | After



  6. FULHAM | south London garden

This Fulham backyard was a neglected small space, attached to a traditional terraced house. The clients, raising a young family and both working, needed the garden to function on many levels. Having been involved in this long-term modern renovation project from the outset, it was possible to incorporate not only matching surfaces to the interior and increased privacy, but also a water feature, built-in seating and architectural foliage. Explore a similar small garden design.



Modern Fulham garden | BeforeModern Fulham garden | After



  7. STOCKWELL | subtropical garden

The intimate lush haven created in this south London backyard began as a neglected and overgrown space. With mature trees already providing good scale, and shelter from buildings, there was great scope to establish a verdant woodland canopy of contrasting textures. The long space was divided into 3 main sections with a central deck as a raised platform. Low hedges create partitions, which guide movement between the various spaces and provide an increased perspective. This layout serves as a backdrop for the arching fronds of tree ferns, Japanese maples and grasses.



Stockwell garden | BeforeStockwell garden | After



  8. SAFFRON WALDEN | landscape design

This space is part of a large landscape garden in the Essex countryside. Enclosed by flint walls and surrounded by mature trees, there was scope for creating an unusual composition. The client, who had just returned from a trip to Japan, sought a vignette of this part of the world in constructing a Japanese garden – albeit in a contemporary context. This corner of the garden was therefore designated to the project and with good vehicular access, we could crane in large rocks, trees and stone. See the case study of how the garden design evolved and was built.



Saffron Walden landscape | BeforeSaffron Walden landscape | After



  9. MAYFAIR | town garden

This contemporary apartment in central London enjoys an outdoor courtyard connecting the various living spaces. When I first arrived, old paving, a plethora of small pots and an outdated fountain presented a drab outlook. In order to connect to the modern interior, a series of minimalist topiary in various forms was arranged along the tall walls. This helps in balancing the scale, creates eye level focal points and maintains a streamlined appearance.



Mayfair town garden | BeforeMayfair town garden | After



  10. COVENT GARDEN | large roof garden

This large roof garden occupies a prime location at the heart of Covent garden with extensive views over the London skyline. Situated above a penthouse apartment, the experience of ascending to the outside space presents a feeling of anticipation – augmented by the thrill of such outdoor freedom amidst the hustle and bustle of the streets below. The old, tired and traditional scheme was replaced with a modern garden design consisting of an outdoor kitchen, a sound system, artificial grass and a hardwood deck. Mediterranean flora flourishes in the open conditions, overcoming the wind, heat and pollution.



Covent Garden roof | BeforeCovent Garden roof | After



  11. PARLIAMENT HILL | large family garden

In the interim period of an extensive private house renovation project, the large garden fell into to disrepair. The garden design for the sloping space included regrading, structures relocation, new vegetation, lighting and some fun features for the young family. We were able to bring in a mini digger through the garage door, which made it easy to dig the earth for the trampoline to be flush with the ground – adding much-needed privacy.



Large family garden | BeforeLarge family garden | After




Plans & Drawings


Making over a garden does not always necessarily mean you see the results in full right away. When planting is the key factor, time is essential to appreciate the progression of nature. Brand new materials appear sparkly and bright, but gain much character after a while weathering gracefully. In town we are accustomed to modern garden design transformations involving instant impact, where contemporary materials and lighting define a ready-made scene that is prêt à porter so to say. Which ever way you look at it, a full remaking of a garden is a bold move, and as such might as well incorporate an inspiring design – in the company of a versatile garden designer.


amirWritten by Amir Schlezinger




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