Paved garden on two levels, Islington, N1

This sloping garden in Islington was overgrown and neglected, with leggy shrubs, rampant ivy, broken fences and a lawn smothered in weeds.

The brief was to maximise the space, to get rid of the lawn, and provide a structured, low-maintenance planting scheme. The clients wanted to retain part of an existing reclaimed York terrace, but also to give the garden a contemporary feel and open it up for entertaining.

York stone was used throughout to create a flow through the garden, up the new, wide steps to an upper terrace framed by low evergreen hedging that reinforces the strong geometry of the design. The ivy was cut back and evergreen climbers added to clothe the fencing and give privacy. Soft grasses and billowy hydrangeas are punctuated with spheres of box and a large, sculptural bowl, planted with spiky Astellia chathamica anchors the space and provides a focal point. A simple bench flanked by more box balls catches the last of the sun’s rays.

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