John Richardson Gardens   Garden Design and Construction

House Newlands

The garden revamp on this Newlands property required a space that would pull together the new garden pavilion and entrance steps with the existing renovated patio.The challenge for the design was to achieve balance between the upper and lower garden terraces which split the garden into two perfectly equal areas.

 

The upper terrace was earmarked for lawn and perimeter planting with maximum space for active recreation. The lower terrace was essentially a blank canvas that could have been reworked in a number of ways, however we decided that we should to keep the layout formal to match the simplicity and elegance of the upper terrace. And whilst this was clearly the right approach, most of the initial concepts for the lower terrace left us somewhat unconvinced. The problem was that because the garden was divided in half by a visually strong retaining wall, the impression was of two separate adjacent gardens, rather than one balanced, integrated outdoor space, which is what we wanted to achieve.

 

When conceptualizing a garden space, more often than not I have an immediate idea for the space which I then let develop as and when it wants to. 'First thought, best thought' as they say!

Inexplicably and frustratingly this was one of those instances where that didn't happen. By this I mean that when starting with the concept drawings for this garden I applied all the stock-in-trade templates for 'formal garden layout', yet somehow none seemed right. They all appeared tacked on in some way. I must have sketched out ten alternatives without conviction. Every one of them would have been great as a stand alone garden, but not one of them felt right for the space that was the lower terrace and had to fit into the bigger garden.

The only idea that I really liked was one that I kept dismissing. It just seemed to be too simple and obvious to be considered a realistic option. However, this idea persisted until, after having sketched out all the other the alternatives and stuck them on my drawing board for comparison, did I eventually accept that this design as the right one, which, of course, hindsight proved it was.

 

I realize now that the lower terrace had to match the simplicity and density of the upper terrace in order to balance the spaces. The lawn daybed is a repetition of the lawn at the top and the fact that it is raised gives it equal status, despite being much smaller. Without that bit of elevation it would not have had the same balancing effect and the garden would have been weak.

 

The concept was completed with a strong simple framework of planting, a timber bench, a few flagstones for texture and some random plantings in the stone chip to give it that been-there-for-ages look that I always try get into the gardens.

The ubuntu cows and large cushions were a personal touch by the client and add a wonderful homely, chilled out, lived-in vibe to the garden and pavilion.

 

The photographs are kindly by the client and the garden was about fourteen months old at time of photographing.

 

 

 

 


Click the image for a view of:
Click the image for a view of:
Click the image for a view of: The Upper Terrace Lawn.
The Upper Terrace Lawn.
Click the image for a view of: The Grass Daybed with Classic Stone Bowls on the wall beyond.
The Grass Daybed with Classic Stone Bowls on the wall beyond.
Click the image for a view of: From the Garden Pavillion looking out across the garden.
From the Garden Pavillion looking out across the garden.
Click the image for a view of: Lighting can create fantastic moods in gardens.
Lighting can create fantastic moods in gardens.
Click the image for a view of: House Newlands.
House Newlands.
Click the image for a view of: The Grass Day-Bed, with Ubuntu Cows!
The Grass Day-Bed, with Ubuntu Cows!
Posted: 4/23/2010 (9:55:02 AM)

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