Large family garden with infinity edge pool
By London garden designer Charlotte Rowe. This large family garden required a large lawn, but also certain contemporary elements and to comply with severe restrictions on development.
The space has three clearly defined areas: a terrace made of polished poured concrete in a buff colour, containing aggregate to give it texture and added interest. Dividing this from the rest of the garden is an infinity edge water feature fed from a letterbox spout in an apron wall and draining off into a slim rill pushed into the lawn.
The major part of the garden is a rectangular lawn bordered by beds and gravel paths and cut into at one point by two side beds containing beech hedging and lime trees.
At the far end of the garden is a secondary terrace area of gravel with a sitting area and also containing the garden shed and a children's slide which are partly screened by more beech hedging. The end boundary of the garden is a raised bed of oak beams and another beech hedge to screen the garden from the adjoining sports field.
The water feature, in particular the rill and the poured concrete stepping stones, acts as a visual pull into the garden, leading one's eye down the garden. While it was not designed to be a swimming pool, in practice the children use it as a paddling pool on hot days.
The terrace of polished concrete echoes the colour scheme of the adjoining sitting room and kitchen and is easy to maintain. There is an outdoor sitting area but no permanent dining area as the kitchen/dining area has bi-fold doors so that the inside space can be opened up to the outside at any time.
To provide some shade on the very light and sunny terrace, there are two umbrella topped London Plane trees planted into the terrace which are up lit at night.
The planting palette, at the client's request, is purely whites, off whites and green incorporating a couple of existing red leafed shrubs for additional interest. The garden is of very open aspect and is South facing so most of the garden is very sunny, while the far end is quite shady. There is a gravel planting area close to the house which covers the underwater tanks of the water harvesting system that the client had had the great foresight to install. In this gravel area, there is a low carpet of Buxus globes, Santolina virens, Achillea, Alchemilla mollis and Stipa tenuissima. At the end of the garden in the shady area the keynote plants are a Cornus kousa, and rows of Hebe parviflora angustifolia and Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'. The rest of the planting includes Amelanchier lamarckii, Euphorbia characias, Selenium wallichianum, Hemerocallis 'Gentle Shepherd', Libertia grandiflora and Persicaria polymorpha.
Click any of the plant names below to learn more and add to your own plants list.
Shrubs and Subshrubs
Cornus stolonifera 'Flaviramea'
Daphne laureola philippi
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Cotinus coggygria 'Grace'
Santolina rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem'
Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva'
Hebe parviflora angustifolia
Perennials, grasses and ferns
Deschampsia cespitosa Gold Veil
Hemerocallis 'Gentle Shepherd'
Euphorbia amygdaloides ssp robbiae
Anemone Honorine Jobert
Helleborus foetidus Wester Flisk
Helleborus niger Harvington hybrids
Euphorbia charac Marjery Fisher
Peony Duchesse de Nemours
Sedum spectabalis Iceburg
Achillea millefolium 'Mondpagode'
Agapanthus 'White Superior'
Geranium sylvaticum 'Album'
Geranium sanguineum 'Album'
Epimedium younganium Niveum
Thymus serpyllum 'Alba'
Euphorbia cyparissias Fens Ruby
Jasminum officinale 'Clotted Cream'
Solanum jasminoides 'Album'
Clematis montana grandiflora
Wisteria sinensis 'Alba'
Clematis cirrhosa 'Wisley Cream'
Lonicera japonica Cream Cascade
Photos of the infinity edge garden are by Marianne Majerus.