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It’s only 18 months old, but it now looks as though it’s always been there and the good weather over the past few weeks has meant that my clients have really been able to enjoy it at last! You may remember what it looked liked before, but here’s a reminder of the back yard it was then. One of the challenges of this design was the fact that the house is a modern town house that is set over three floors.
I wanted my clients to feel connected when they looked out from upstairs, which they tell me we’ve achieved.
The skip on the driveway doesn’t really help, but the main challenge was that access to the front door when the cars were parked on the driveway was across the lawn on the right hand side.
The design was really simple to allow parking for two cars whilst still being able to walk to the front door. Hope you’ve enjoyed revisiting the transformation with me…a very satisfying part of my job!
I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round. This upwardly sloping rear garden in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, measuring around 300sqm, was a relatively blank canvas.
There were five show garden categories at this year’s show but today I am going to share my pick of the main show gardens.
For me this garden had the most balance.  It was contemporary but calm at the same time and I loved the rythmn that the box balls created through the garden.
Timber always brings warmth to a garden and the stipa tenuissima (Feather Grass) at the front of the garden helped to soften the edges.


I really liked the way the bottles had been used to create another dimension to the garden and I think you recreate a similar effect by using other materials. It was possible to walk through this garden too so all visitors to the show could experience the garden from a different point of view.
Although the planting style was a bit too formally placed for my personal tastes, there were elements of this garden that I really loved.  The natural stone walls position to break up the hedges were gorgeous and perfectly balanced with the pleached trees. Later this week I’ll share my pick of the other show gardens.  If you managed to visit the show this year, what were your favourites?
Click on any of the images below to see a slideshow of this small contemporary garden design. Several years ago, when we first moved into our current home, I became quite obsessed with Diarmud Gavin and his creative approach to creating contemporary gardens.
One aspect of Gavin’s approach I was particularly drawn to was the way in which he used different materials to build interesting and unusual structures within an overall scheme. This garden, pictured above is a good example of how contemporary and modern landscaping can include aspects for the children too.
During my time of Diarmiud Gavin obsession I learned that you don’t have to be a serious gardener to be able to design your own contemporary garden.
Hi, I'm Jen, an interiors writer and blogger showcasing great design and style for a family home.
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Jen Stanbrook is an interiors writer, blogger and presenter, with an insatiable love of all things home.


A key feature in the garden is an atmospheric pergola walk that straddles a pathway of stepping stones and granite chippings, flanked by architectural shrubs and low box hedging. It just takes a little research and understanding of what your needs and requirements are, and applying that to the space you have to work with. This fabulous blue path adds some real interest to the expanse of play bark and creates a fun feature for the children too.  The play area still looks aesthetically pleasing even though it contains plastic slides, where the blue scheme ties it all together. Being a garden designer myself I can appreciate the rewards you get from a well planned layout.
Notify me of new posts by email.This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. I found  it so inspiring I even bought one of his books and tried to apply his techniques to the development of our own garden. A particular favourite was this one for Architectural plants where I nurtured my love of the Banana Tree or Musa Basjoo and discovered lots more hardy tropical plants to include in my own modern garden.  Then on our trips to Cornwall I would often pick up one or two more evergreens and really started building my collection. If you love designing the  interior of your home but haven’t yet taken that love out into the garden, do give it a go this Summer. To begin with look at this great gadget for calculating how much concrete you might need for specific jobs – what a great idea!
Adults like to somewhere to sit, relax and eat, often with friends, whilst the children need space to run and play.



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Author: admin | 12.08.2013 | Category: Small Storage Buildings


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