Small wonder

Barnes, Southwest London: northwest facing, small space.

A tiny, somewhat unloved yard has been transformed into a smart, contemporary space, to relax and entertain.

Our lovely but exacting clients, wanted low maintenance planting combined with style and simplicity, somewhere to sit in the summer sun along with space for a shiny new barbecue. We created a hardwood deck using Yellow Balau and hidden fixings, laying the boards across the house so that they run in the direction of the view from the seating space. It’s easy to clean and a beautiful colour. A long bench doubles as a storage box.

Large raised beds built from rough sawn wood, make a nice contrast with the clean lines of the deck. They raise the plants so they are visible from the high kitchen window and allow them to benefit from the sun in the west.

The lower area is paved with specially cut limestone ‘planks’ that surround a feature, Acer ‘Senkaki’. Specifically chosen for its many interesting aspects throughout the year and its cherry red bark. The fences were renovated, painted and new trellis was made to measure.

The owners had their first coffee out there in the middle of February. Their verdict: ‘amazing!’

Creating a garden in such a small space (just over 4.5 x 5m square) is always interesting, requiring careful planning and storing of materials.

Once the old shed and the rotting wooden tiles were removed and the fences cleared of ivy, there was a clear canvas to work on. The floor was levelled and the drain cleaned up. Then the build began. Working through January and freezing weather delayed the laying of the paving but the end result was worth the wait.