Gravel Garden, Hackney

The rear garden of this house in Hackney was long and narrow, and the front garden was on a steep slope. The clients entertain a lot and wanted a sense of privacy, plus elements that would reflect their interest in Japanese gardens.

A stepping stone path winds down the rear garden, through bamboos and flat pebblestones and a large raised bed opposite a new seating area. The front garden was terraced, and incorporated elements of the rear garden design – gravel, large pebblestones, bamboo, dwarf pines, black lily turf, scarlet acers. A river of purple irises falling down the terraces gently nods to Japanese style but remains in sympathy with the architecture of the house.