Review of 2010 – Muswell Hill garden

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December has arrived, and it’s a chance to review the most interesting and exciting projects of the year.

In Muswell Hill I had been talking to a local family about their ideas for their large back garden since 2005. The garden was mainly covered in old-fashioned concrete paving, with raised beds all round which showed their age. At the time I was a neighbour, and after presenting them with a proposed design for their garden the project was put on hold while the garden was used for important family celebrations.We frequently crossed paths and discussed when the the garden project might would go ahead.

Finally, towards the end of 2009, the project was on. The last of the family weddings had taken place, and now it was time for the transformation of the garden.

The central area of the garden was level with the back of the house, while the raised beds had been necessary to deal with higher levels at the boundaries. I decided to keep to the existing levels to keep costs and effort down. Instead of the lumpy rectangular beds, I designed interconnecting, sweeping curves to border the garden. The concrete paving was removed and in its place I designed a sandstone patio, a large family lawn and a sandstone path leading to a second, circular, paved area at the rear for enjoying the summer evening sun. Paved areas and the lawn were edged with buff granite setts, which also gave the path a more interesting detail.

Water in the garden was very important to the owner and his family. I designed a cascade built from Purbeck limestone, complete with a powerful OASE pump to screate a stunning waterfall. Underwater lighting was used to create beautiful flickering shadows as evening falls.