Less can be more

Twickenham, TW1: southeast facing, dry and under a large bay tree.

We turned a bald, dry old lawn into a talking point.

The residents of these lovely flats used this part of the front garden to park bikes. We removed the lawn and laid generous quantities of 20mm shingle. We discussed creating something formal with box hedging and stone planters but the client bravely decided to go for this contemporary, abstract design using box balls and beautiful sandstone spheres. The largest sphere weighs 250kg and at 600mm diameter, it's a real statement.

The area was enhanced, by planting two of the best Acers (Bloodgood and Oshimensis) to add colour and delicate movement. Several neighbours and passers-by were moved to stop and chat about what we were building.

We cleared some overgrown shrubs and moved the bikes back behind screens, built to hide the ubiquitous Wheelie bins. Steel bike racks were installed so the bikes are secure and less visible from the road.

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