Bright Ideas

Twickenham, TW1: a sad and unused back garden.

This garden was an opportunity to start from scratch, which is always fun. Working with a lovely, bold client made it even better. The carrot orange used throughout is a strong statement.

We wanted to make something very low maintenance and to create a flexible extension to the living space, for relaxing and entertaining. Everything changed, from the fences inwards apart from the three trees at the end, two large ferns and a steamer chair. We extended the deck area to make a more generous, useful space. Composite decking with hidden fixings is a smart, durable solution. When the plants mature, the pergola will be surrounded by green. The result is bright, bold and full of lovely shadows.

The pergola was built to offer some screening and be the main architectural feature of the garden. Deliberately designed to create a false perspective, it's lower and narrower at the back and the top beams fan out, it offers a snug place to sit and makes a bold statement. We planted two scented, climbing roses, by the supports and there is a power socket with USB behind the back leg to allow easy outdoor working and a place to charge the hanging lights. 

It's great to have the chance to completely accessorize the garden. We chose some portable, rechargeable lights as well as wall lights, strong botanical designs on the cushions (very low maintenance), and selected furniture, all designed to support the striped theme, led by the pergola. 

The orange paint is bold and playful and it's a credit to our client that she went for it. Apparently, at night, the orange roof beam seems to float in the dark!

Newly installed wall lights reflect the fan shape of the pergola, very dramatic on the black fence. A simple, painted feather board fence, can be a thing of beauty at night and in the sun. The bespoke, dyed concrete step and path are beautifully made.

Where we started - the ugly duckling is now 'a very fine swan indeed! Binky was a hard taskmaster but I think she's happy. The client's verdict: 'I am thrilled with my amazing new garden...