Modern Courtyard Garden of Two Halves, W1, London
Modern Courtyard Garden Designed for Two Different Tastes
Designing a modern courtyard garden is always a challenge. Small spaces are often more difficult to think about as you want to get every useable space working for the client. In this case, one of the clients wanted a cottage-style courtyard garden, while the other wanted a low-maintenance tropical feel.
Bi-fold doors open onto the space from the dining and family room. The client loves open-plan living and the design encapsulates this by creating a seamless feel from inside to outside. The same sawn grey porcelain tiles (slightly thicker outside) are continued into the modern courtyard setting. Composite decking that looks and feel like real wood creates an ‘L’ shape leading the eye towards the back. The deck also extends the visual look of the garden, while the return leads your eye to a double water blade cascade. The house and a section of the outside wall is finished with rough stone. To complement the stone and the grey of the windows and bi-fold doors and to give it that modern courtyard feel London Stone Design Clad has been used on the remaining 3 walls in a grey that complements the porcelain tiles.
A tempered wall of glass stops the water blades from splashing onto the paving and the planting below. While a slatted fence breaks up the Design Clad and offers views to the surrounding area.
The planting on the right hand side of the modern courtyard is loose, with large Ilex crenata balls, verdant ferns, Eremurus, Geranium, Cotoneaster, Dicentra and a Cordyline. This border is all about texture, colour and form. With the addition of spring and summer bulbs, this border reflects the cottage-style while also fitting within the overall modern courtyard scheme. The planting to the left and rear is made up of Bamboo Fargesia nitida ‘Black Pearl’, planted with a thick pebble mulch. Some of the planting from the right side weaves its way around the base of the bamboo to the rear to create a cohesive and harmonious feel within the modern courtyard.
With the bi-fold doors open, the garden becomes another room in the house and doubles the size of the dining and family room. The clients taste is minimal, modern and elegant and the garden reflects this. On a still summer’s day the water is audible all the way through the house creating a sense of calm and tranquillity.
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More information about principal designer Mark Lane can be found on his Wikipedia page.