Fruit and Vegetable Garden - East London, Earth Designs Earth Designs Rustic style garden
Fruit and Vegetable Garden - East London, Earth Designs Earth Designs Rustic style garden

The brief

The site is an open corner plot in an end of terrace house. Its exposed aspect means that it suffers from a lack of shade and is adversely affected by strong wind. It is an awkward shape, with fairly low walls capped with trellis and suffers from lack of privacy. The plot is fairly overgrown with weeds and dishevelled plants, and the existing boundaries are in a state of disrepair. The side of the house bounds one side of the garden and this should be considered in the design. To the front of the house, bordering the garden on one side, is an uneven concrete parking area, which the client has stipulated should be kept but made more attractive. The client has an allergy to insect bites, so does not want a water feature, which would attract insect life, as part of the design. There is an area containing a coal bunker, around which the client and Earth Designs agreed would be left as a ‘working area’.

The Solution

The design will follow the style of a contemporary cottage garden – a variation on a ‘Pottager’s Garden’, featuring herbs with the potential to incorporate vegetables within the flowerbeds. Two seating areas would be included, one for dining and one for contemplation, situated in separate areas to catch the sun at different times of the day. The dining area would be given increased privacy with the addition of a hinged trellis closing off the exposed side. The benching and table will be constructed of railway sleepers, giving a contemporary feel whilst remaining true to the cottage garden theme.

A semi-mature tree would be planted in the middle of the space, creating a feature which offers additional privacy, shade and shelter from the elements. This tree would be planted in a container constructed of railway sleepers, so that its roots would not compromise the paving or house foundations as the tree matures. To give a sense of continuity to the garden, the raised beds will also be constructed with railway sleepers. Within these beds, a planting palette of scented orange, purple, cream and green foliage, will be employed, selected to give year round interest and texture.

The main area of the space will be carpeted with a combination of slate tiles, railway sleepers and pea shingle. The areas between these different aggregates will be planted with creeping thyme and chamomile, which will release an aroma when walked over. The height of the existing walls will be raised, providing extra privacy. These walls will be rendered and painted white to provide a backdrop to the colour scheme of the planting. The corner of the garden furthest from the house will be decked, optimising the potential for privacy and shelter. The existing water butt will be relocated behind the raised beds, hiding it from sight.

The off street parking area to be will be slated to provide a hard, practical, yet attractive surface. Easy to maintain, it would also offer a good basis for pots and planters and would tie in with the style of the garden. An archway, constructed from railway sleepers ties in the rest of the space and will be placed so that it will support the existing honeysuckle, will screen the garden proper from the working area. The side of the house will be fixed with latticed trellis effect and planted with evergreen clematis, ivy and jasmine. This will provide colour and scent throughout the year, and will break up the imposing effect of the large expanse of brickwork.

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