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The garden and roof terrace design extend the interior outside; the benches reiterate the shape of the indoor fireplace, while the hardwood continues the lines of the flooring. The granite in the waterfall increases in size while alternating texture and alignment, producing a captivating flow. The foliage of a multi-stem Eucalyptus frames the granite water feature in this contemporary north London garden.

contemporary garden design north london

Garden design in North London :: Regent's Park

The living room was extended into the garden in this end of terrace north London house,

creating an opportunity to link the two spaces and make a roof terrace on top. On the borders of Primrose Hill, Regent's Park and St John's Wood the residence offered both the garden and roof terrace as blank canvasses; there was also a front garden to tackle. Although the design contains many intricate details, the initial plan came about fairly quickly. This was aided by the nature of the site, the chemistry with the client and the relaxed budget. Because the interior was in place when I first visited, I was able to take inspiration from a few key elements that let to quite an instinctive response and a unique contemporary garden design.

The first idea was to reiterate the shape of the indoor fireplace by creating 2 benches with a similar aperture. The benches act as an important focal point from the living space and offer ample seating as well as ambient lighting. This feature is set off by the lines of the hardwood in the deck, step and bench seats which join the lines of the interior flooring. The second feature is the granite waterfall, which is offset to the side of the garden producing a captivating flow into two pools. The client was fascinated with water and introduced this must have into the brief. It was a successful amalgamation of previous techniques and use of granite with the client’s vision input and determination. It was truly fascinating to recreate South of France visions in a north London garden.  

The crisp lines of the materials and recesses under the raided beds are contrasted by the outlines, textures and shadows of lush evergreen planting. Bamboo, palms and birches give screening from neighbouring properties. A Strawberry tree and a Snow gum give further architectural evergreen accents. The seating is situated away from the house, giving further privacy with good views of the interior. The waterfall is offset to the side, increasing the feeling of depth of space.

I see many Eucalyptus trees all over London and some huge ones in North London where fertile wet clay soil is abundant. Here in a contemporary garden which is restricted in size I use a small variety in a multi-stem form, which is slower and has a sculptural quality conducive to pruning. Whilst the Snow gum Eucalyptus is planted at the top of a raised bed, a useful technique was used in the rest of the beds. To eliminate the need for tonnes of earth and to protect the fencing behind, the plants emerge from the base of the beds creating a striking light well effect which is useful at both daytime and night time. The sandstone paving was cut at a contemporary size of 900 x 300 mm. This shape augments the linearity within the space, moving the eye across the garden, which is otherwise fairly square. The large size works well within the scale of the garden and it is always important to endow a place with its own signature elements.


See roof terraces in other private locations in London

See other small garden design projects in the area

Type of garden:
Special features:
Length of project:
Regent's Park, North London NW3
Garden, roof terrace, front garden, contemporary
80 sqm garden
50k whole site
Sandstone, ipe, glass tiles
water feature, benches, planters
Arbutus, Eucalyptus, Bamboo, palm trees
4 weeks
Modern European

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