An Oasis for a Townhouse in Central Winchester

The Brief

My client wanted to create an exciting garden that expressed her artistic side and which looked inviting from the open living space inside the house. She wanted a place to relax and socialise, “a spot to sit in the sunshine” and the opportunity to indulge her love of exotic plants. The enclosed back garden of her house was congested with overgrown shrubs and ivy and the lawn wasn’t coping well with the shady conditions. The space was predominately green and needed an injection of colour as well as some height and scale to compete with the tall trees and hedge to the rear. A major consideration in the design was the restricted access, which was only through the client’s house.

My Design

Planting is key to the success of this garden; it is bold, dense and layered, and uses striking foliage, large leaves and exotic flowers to create contrasts. The volume and scale of the planting and the variety of shape, texture and colour create jungle-like borders, which soften the boundaries and transform the garden into a verdant tropical oasis.

A circular sun terrace sits in the sunniest spot of the garden with small granite setts laid in concentric circles and plants growing in the crevices. A bespoke slatted timber and brick bench curves around the terrace offering views back up the garden and the timber seat lifts to create storage.

A confusion of the boundaries visually extends the space: a mirror set within a metal and flower surround creates the illusion of an entrance and a cobble path disappearing into the foliage suggests one can walk through to another part of the garden. The path, made of pavers, river stones and pebbles and laid in a river-like formation, conjures the feeling of meandering water and this is perpetuated by the sound of moving water which emanates from a spherical water feature set amongst pebbles and plants next to the terrace.

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