A Small Front Garden

“The style for the new design is to be formal, but not uniform, to include evergreen plant structure and be low maintenance.”

The situation:

A Small Front Garden

A 1900 end of terrace house with small east facing front garden. Pathway with steps to the front door, lawn, small amount of planting and boundary privet hedges.

The brief:

The style for the new design is to be formal, but not uniform, to include evergreen plant structure and be low maintenance.  The client wanted to renew the pathway to the front door and add climbers to the long high boundary stone wall by the side of the pathway.  In the centre of the small front garden is a beautiful prostrate purple leaf Acer which is to be kept as a feature in the new design. The existing lawn and boundary hedges and planting to be removed.  Reinstate the black metal railings on top of the low boundary stone walls and refurbish the existing metal front gate.  Provide an area for bins.

This was an interesting but tricky request from the client for a “formal but not uniform style” for the garden.  The concept of a Japanese gardening technique called “O-Karikomi’ provided the answer, where trees and shrubs are clipped into large curved or round shapes which can be grouped together, giving a clean crisp style.

A new widened sandstone sett and paved pathway and steps leads from the front gate to the front door.  Planting beds were added at the base of the tall stone boundary wall for climbers to be planted.  A circular sett edged planting bed was added around the existing prostrate Acer, surrounded by gravel laid over an underlying permeable weed resistant membrane.

New black metal railings for the top of the low stone boundary walls were designed and installed by a blacksmith.*  The metal front gate was refurbished.  The bins were relocated and a small bin store built.  To make it easy to move the bins for weekly collections, a honeycomb grid was laid under the gravel in this area for stability and ease of usage.

Taking inspiration from the concept of ‘O-Karikomi’ different sizes of evergreen Buxus balls were grouped and planted in a seemingly random way in the gravel around the prostrate Acer.  This gave a formal front garden design, but without a uniform style.

* As the property is within a conservation area, full planning permission was required and granted.

Gallery: A Small Front Garden

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