Bachelor Pad, West London

A Courtyard Garden for a London Bachelor Pad

This was my first ever commission, designed on a tiny budget whilst I was in the second year of my HND garden design course at Merrist Wood. I’ve done a lot since, but I leave it on the website for old times’ sake. The design required the complete revamp of a small derelict back garden to a Victorian terraced property in Old Hanwell, West London.

The client, a single man in his 30’s, liked to entertain and wanted several seating areas to enjoy the sun in his garden at different times of the day, be it for a quiet breakfast, or relaxing with friends on summer evenings. The garden had been completely unloved and was little more than a patch of waste ground with crumbling fences and knee-high grass when I first came to see it, but my client was keen to turn it into an enticing space and add value to his property. He also had a limited budget and wanted to minimise maintenance whilst maximising colour, interest and attraction to wildlife.

The solution was to dispense with the usual lawn which enabled all areas not being used for seating, storage or circulation to be filled with plants. I also commissioned bespoke fencing to my own design from a local timber supplier, designed to maintain a feeling of privacy and provide a secure boundary whilst letting some light and air through.

Three seating areas were created: a raised area on a deck with bench seating, which wrapped around the rear of the house, for eating evening meals; a corner seating area for relaxing with friends or enjoying breakfast in the sun, and a two-seater bench for more intimate shared moments. A brick path chosen to harmonise with the London stock bricks of the house links all the areas and led to a small garden shed for bicycle and barbeque storage, camouflaged behind bamboos.

The shadier side of the garden was planted with architectural shrubs and grasses, whilst the sunnier side was planted with various tall but gauzy flowering perennials and grasses to filter the views, whilst fences and pergolas were planted with a variety of attractive scented climbing plants. A pocket-sized garden on a tiny budget, but my first full project. It was built by Tecwyn Evans early on in his career, before Living Landscapes went on to become a much larger company and build multiple show gardens along with big domestic projects with matching budgets.