from start to finish

Foxgrove Road, Dry Planting Border
Foxgrove Road, Dry Planting Border
Foxgrove Road, Dry Planting Border
Foxgrove Road, Dry Planting Border
Foxgrove Road, Dry Planting Border
Foxgrove Road, Dry Planting Border
Foxgrove Road, Dry Planting Border

FamilY Garden, Beckenham

This small family garden was used by; two adults, two teenagers, two dogs and one cat! They moved in the year before and the previous owners were clearly not gardeners,  with only 4 plants; Camelia, Sygringa, Philadelus and a Laurel plus a broken patio and the remainder decking.

The Brief

The client’s wish-list, for their family garden had to please a long list of the family needs: space for cooking and dinning, an area of the teenage daughters to enjoy the sun, a place for the dogs to do their necessaries….you get the jist. However the clients did have a really great sense of drama, when it came to the planting, requesting bold colours and lots of tropical looking plants to compliment the modern house, ‘spiky things’ were specifically requested.

Unique Touch

They are creative people and on showing me around, we came across some metal artwork being stored in their garage, which I causally suggested may look great in the garden, they jumped on the idea which has given their family garden a unique style all of their own.

Design Concept

We agreed the concept sketches and a planting scheme of metallic and purple foliage with orange hotspots, to complement the metal artwork. Then we got cracking, removing the broken patio, adding a new fence and increasing the planting area by 50%.

Structure

Year round structure was added with Pittosporum ‘Tom thumb’, Cordyline ‘Pink Passion’, Phormium tenax sundowner, Cistus, bamboo – Phyllostachys nigra, plus a few different varieties of Euphorbia; E.characias subsp. Wulfenii, E.cyparissas, E.griffithii ‘fireglow’. Climbers; Lonicera Brownii ‘dropmore and Clematis ‘Perle d’Azur’ were added to soften the wall and blend in with the ‘pictures’, adding colour at different times of the year.

Tactile Planting

The middle bed was planted with a number of tall and tactile plants to give some privacy in summer and a pleasing effect and scent when brushed up against; Pennisetum Rubrum, Lavender, Thyme, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’.  Tall but not bulky planting was including, to give some screening between the patio and decking without creating a solid block; Verbena bonarensis, Stipa Calamagrostis and Dipsacus fullonum many of which also ticking the spiky box.

Colour Scheme

Much of the purple additions came from foliage Cotinus coggygria f.purpureu, Sambucus Nigra black lace, Pittosporums, Athyrium Niponicum and Ophiopogon planiscapus nigresens. Purple flowers coming in the form of  Salvia memovosa ‘caradonna’, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, Verbena bonarensis, Hellebore ‘dark purple’, drumstick alliums and Lipiope muscari. I added the orange ‘hotspots’ using Geums Alabama Slammer and Eos, Crocosmia ‘lucifer’, Hellebore sternii ‘amber gem’ and Eschscholzia californica. In the autumn the flaming leaves of the Cotinus coggygria Golden Spirit, Dryopteris lepidopoda, Cornus sanguinea Anny winter orange also adding orange drama. Plus the late edition of a Rhus (it was going to be an amelanchier) which the client saw driving home one day and stopped the traffic to take a picture to show me – I thought I was the only one who did things like that, I love the spontaneity! Heather, Beckenham ‘’We moved into our new home just over a year ago and the garden was lack-lustre to say the least, with 3 plants and an ugly raised broken patio. Carole met with us to understand our wish-list and ideas. She then created beautiful hand-drawn designs, sketches and sourced plant images, which really helped us visualise how the final result would look – invaluable as we are not gardeners. She added to our original plan, creating more visual interest through additional planting and even suggested we incorporate some metal artwork we had unhung in our garage making our space unique. The team then got cracking with hard and soft landscaping and before we knew it we had a garden, which meets the needs of our whole family plus 2 dogs and a cat! The planting is beautiful, with year-round interest and a vibrate colour palate that ties everything together and importantly was done to budget. We would not hesitate to recommend Design Heights to anyone who wants to make the most of their garden – Carole is professional, friendly and creative.’’