A small garden which may only take two weeks to construct evolves continuously from season to season, enriching its owners' well-being immensely for many years. From start to finish, the entire experience of designing and building a garden, whatever its size or location, and despite the dust and digging, should entail a pleasurable, rewarding endeavour for both the design team and clients to fulfil a premise way greater than our mere brief sojourn. We're often asked what a certain garden looked like before the call, so we've put together a collection of modern design transformations for you to glimpse at, with some inspiringly eye-opening ’then and now’ project images!
Design & Words: Amir Schlezinger
Before the Invite
Lushly, a quarter of London is covered by private gardens, and with further 15 percent of public parks, the capital is Europe's greenest city by a mile, while being the third leafiest globally by similar size. Comparably, small gardens feature far denser vegetation en masse than large ones, although already reaching an equal amount of hard surfaces to permeable land, detracting from their potential to revive wildlife and rebalance our ecology. From Westminster's and Chelsea's tiny garden plots to Barnet's and Bromley's huge ones, we strive to connect our clients with their natural scenery, whatever the impetus to transform an outdoor space may be.
Countless of our London clients are construction savvy, as so many properties in the capital are continually developed below and above ground. Yet, when cosily renovated homes impel the transformation of their outdoor counterparts to match exemplary models, many owners reach a rather impassable uncharted territory. Apprehension dissolved and landscaping conundrums demystified, we all cluster together to form a dynamic nucleus of client, designer and building team, if only for a short yet exhilarating while. Garden design amalgamates every aspect of the natural world, visual aesthetics, social interaction and constructional engineering, immersing each new client with a truly captivating design process of regenerating an underutilised garden.
After we've Gone
What makes a garden truly dynamic, engaging and thriving, aside from supportive clients, an inspiring location, a foresighted design and great plants? Maintenance in its varying approaches forms the most significant aspect of a garden's long-lasting vitality, whatever the method may be. At times lax, at others prim and proper, upkeep routines are the lifeblood of all gardens, sustaining, conserving and evolving their essence. While so many London properties exchange hands faster than one can shake a stick at, their gardens experience changeable maintenance patterns, yet the rudiments of effective maintainability remain rather constant factors – those inherently implemented within the design at an early stage.
We passionately cherish opportunities to return to past projects, meet up with our clients and soak up the ambience once gardens have matured, been personalised and thoroughly savoured. While all garden designers derive inspiration from far-flung travel, horticultural research, flower shows, art exhibitions, cognate design disciplines, as well as each other's work, the stimulus amassed when visiting one's own previous creations is perhaps the most edifying. When a garden reaches equilibrium, in its exquisite flora, diverse fauna, materials' gracefulness and maximal usage, the pleasure it imparts not only exceeds our clients' expectations, but also our own ones too!