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Garden Design in Brighton-Before and After

A while back this space apparently used to be Lord Sackville's tennis courts.
(Sackville of Sackville Rd) . Then it became a neglected suburban garden full of Bay trees.

My clients wanted their garden to be a social space both for adults and children, with lots of colour yet low on maintenance.

We designed the seating area around a Corten Steel fire pit with lovely golden Cedar wood to match the house and the Summer house. We decided on a deep grey to offset both the wood and the greenery. Two pendulous Birch trees give atmosphere and a third dimension to the area without obscuring light.

We used Corten steel edging of the lawn to link the whole garden together.

Planting around the seating area has a 'mound' theme of Pittisporum Tom thumb and Pittisporum Golf Balls with taller more languid planting bursting through like Fennel, Crocosmia Red Devil, Phlomis italics, Stipa gigantic and Lobelia Queen Victoria.


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Garden Design using Japanese Principles

When I first arrived in this garden an old raised bed and broken up pond met me.

However, overarching the area was a beautiful apple tree.

My clients wanted a peaceful garden where they could relax and entertain friends and family and yet they wanted a loose and open feeling as their garden bordered onto the open expanse of a neighbour's lawn.

I thought of how the Japanese create microcosm gardens that reference a greater landscape and how the apple could be the Queen of the Valley.

After we filled in the old pond and cleared the old rockery we replenished the soil and reused the stones to create a mountainside feeling with aged stones in natural formations.

We used three good sized Japanese Acers to form a middle canopy and then lots of Japanese woodland plants like Hakonechloa as ground cover.
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Garden Design- 2 years on

Originally this garden had about 8 old Rose beds in the middle of the lawn and a few sad shrubs around the edges. Our client wanted to open the space up for kids and dogs yet have a feast of different plants and colour.

I took some detailed pictures of the planing last week. it is starting to knit together and become more than the sum of its parts. 

One great but tricky part of garden design is making sure the plants combine well and compliment each other as well as take over from each other when the other is flagging and has given its show for the year.

We used box balls and Hakonechloa macro the backbone of the garden especially since they both look good in the winter.

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Before And After- From Mud to Magic

This was the perfect muddy mess. For a garden designer the worst a garden is the better as the transformation is that more satisfying.

At first we thought to entirely plant up the area but my clients decided they wanted to keep maintenance and costs down and introduce some lawn. I think this was a great idea as the green, clean space and curvaceous beds brings out the delicate beauty of the plants

We used lots of bright, Mediterranean perennials in the front borders with more English shady loving plants as the beds receded to the back and the deeper areas of shade.

The front garden (see picture) is planted up with a single Amelanchier lemarkii with a whole swath of Sesleria grass underneath which will treble in size and sway in the wind like a Summer field.

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Before and After Photos- A garden designer's reward

I love Before and After photos. It reminds me of the chaos a garden was in when I first arrived and how I had to stretch my imagination to have a vision of a more beautiful space.

Being a garden designer in Brighton means I have my fair share of small gardens to design and by far they are the hardest as every material and detail needs to be thought through.

I was helped by my clients in this instance as their brief was a tropical atmosphere and they had already chosen a very clean, interesting looking porcelain tile that mimics old oak panels, even down to old saw marks that might have been made a hundred years ago.

Eventually the climber, Muehlenbekia complexa, will find its way over the top of the water feature making the water running down the sheet metal mysterious.

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