Wivenhoe, Essex

Long garden - lawn free.

Client's brief

The clients wanted a complete transformation of a much loved and traditional family garden which no longer suited their needs. 

Contemporary and traditional palettes could be considered, however the layout needed to celebrate treasured items, in particular the couple’s skis, a collection of slate tiles and much loved roses.  Whilst it was desirable to include space for edibles, a low maintenance approach was a key requirement.

Their wish for their town garden was for a  ‘journey, surprise and destination’. 
"Being a small and narrow town garden, the first question I asked the clients was, 'Can you live without a lawn?' A light bulb moment!  They didn't need the lawn and removing it freed up space for more interesting features.

A small breakfast terrace partially wrapped by a bespoke corten steel herb planter is the perfect place to begin the day. From the terrace the 'journey' follows the movement of the sun past a water-feature on a slate-on-edge frame and a unique bench-seat crafted from the couples' skis.

A section of beech hedge and red timber archway announces the entrance to the 'fruit garden' where a small summer house resides, its orientation making the most of the sunlight even on a winters day. The 'journey' ends at an evening terrace which is home to a striking sculptural piece.   

To maintain the openness of the space, yet control movement in the fruit garden, a series of interlocking planters were installed.  I designed the planters to provide a variety of soil depths suitable for a range of edible plants, 

The materials and planting palette has been carefully selected to harmonise with the corten steel.

This garden was awarded 'Silver' at the 2019 APL National Awards for a build project value between £35-£60K.  Karen recommended the contractors who achieved the award and worked closely with them and various specialists who fabricated and installed the cor-ten planters and the bespoke water feature.  

Client's Review

Karen was brilliant throughout the time it took for the project to become a reality. She was able to understand how important it was to incorporate my late husband's wishes for the design and spent a lot of additional time helping me to bring the new garden to life.
Garden Design Plans

'Architect-style' Garden Design Services?

This formal level of design service is most appropriate for clients considering significant investment in a completely new garden.
Although there are many stages in the process from initial visit to a completed garden, not every project requires the same level of design input.
Discover the process