A bit of a makeover

St Margaret’s, TW1: south facing, with a large lawn and fish ponds

The initial conversation was about this garden lacking interest and could we 'pep up the pots'.  After more discussion, it was proposed that the problem was scale, along with too many surface materials.  

A spacious garden with an imposing, circular lawn, was bordered by shallow, slate-clad flower beds (without any flowers) and a historical collection of small plant containers. The lovely, split-level fish pond was also faced with grey slate.  

The potential to rejuvenate was obvious and we agreed to deepen the beds and alter the pond surround, cladding them in a fresh material. A lovely white stone was chosen that brings light to the garden. 

The client's fondness for neat lines and order is addressed with some globe shaped topiary, softened with flowering plants and grasses to give colour and movement. The round theme is continued with soft globe lights in the flower beds and on the deck.

Existing Camellias and shrubs border the beautiful private park, beyond the garden. These were clipped back, giving them shape where there was none. Three groups of impressive ironstone pots were installed and planted with large specimen plants. The ironstone matched really well with the brick paving surrounding half the lawn, and large plants add instant drama.

The old containers were rationalised and the suitable, square ones relocated onto a lovely modern roof terrace. We planted seven containers with sun-loving plants, offering lots of interest and movement. 

Extra large containers are also an investment for the front of the house. A stunning Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' was installed in a space by the bay window to disguise a bare brick wall. The leaves blend beautifully with the huge ironstone pot and the red brick of the house. Three other striking pots house Photinia, for year-round interest and to screen next door.