Full of intrigue and hidden surprises, this beautiful courtyard design in London has a tranquil and relaxing vibe inspired by South East Asia. Key challenges Farr & Roberts faced were how to make the most of a small corner plot that was pervaded by traffic and pedestrian noise and create an attractive space for dining and unwinding that could be used both day and night.
The key to the design is simplicity. Paving has been laid on one level with the intention of visually maximising the available space, while bold planting and a dramatic cedar seating structure add varying heights, creating the illusion of yet more space.
Although entirely flat, the paving is far from boring. Two different types of stone – light Indian sandstone and a dark limestone – in three sizes have been used to create large paved areas with contrasting shaped borders and stepping stones within narrow rills. A simple ribbon of water shooting out from a Western Red Cedar-clad wall adds height, movement and soothing sound.
Planting is lush and bold with large-scale evergreen shrubs used for instant impact and to disguise the dominant boundaries while muffling the surrounding street noise. Many of the species chosen have striking foliage, adding to the visual interest.
Phormium tenax ‘Variegatum’, Fatsia/japonica, Dicksonia Antartica and Cordyline australis ‘Atropurpurea’ are all tough low-maintenance plants that work beautifully in this setting.
Furniture is sleek, minimal and – most importantly in a small garden – built into the boundaries, which helps to make the most of the footprint and create an uncluttered look.
An L-shaped bench made from hardwood wraps around a substantial timber table to make an intimate-yet-stylish seating area, all partially enclosed by Western Red Cedar slatted screens and ceiling. Discreet up- and downlighters set into the seating and its hidden stone base, give the illusion that this zone is floating.
Western Red Cedar slatted screens create an architectural look that provides visually interesting shadow lines and texture within outdoor spaces. For Farr & Roberts’ design, the screens are used to define a lounge area, creating a secluded, private area enveloped by the natural beauty of Western Red Cedar.
The slatted screens are also used throughout the garden complementing the white walls beautifully as fencing highlights, creating a boundary without complete obstruction.
For more information on Farr & Roberts visit www.farr-roberts.com/landscaping or call 01628 623 097.