Two gardens together, Essex

The clients had bought the house next door and sectioned off part of the garden for their own use. They wanted a design that would integrate the two gardens and make sense of the new L-shape, different levels and the existing swimming pool and hardwood deck. The garden is on the edge of Epping Forest, with mature beech, birch and oak trees all around, so it was important that the new garden sit comfortably in the landscape and with the modern extension to the house.
The strong, geometric design centres on a magnificent, multi-stemmed Griselinia littoralis, which had been concealed behind large shrubs and fencing and whose twisted trunk becomes the focal point of the stepped porcelain pathways from the house terrace up to the pool. The tree was reshaped to form a natural arch, providing a vista across the garden, with an avenue of flowering Prunus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’, framed by clipped beech hedging, leading the eye towards the sundial sculpture and a large, informal perennial border at the end of the garden. A circular bench anchors the mature Swedish birch tree and provides a point of shady tranquillity.