A Smart New Swedish Garden Design for a Young Professional Couple
It’s always nice to be approached by professionals with an eye for design and quality, so I was delighted when a couple of Reigate architects invited me to help transform their rear garden in keeping with the tasteful work they had done to their house. The couple had a young child and had recently extended and transformed the interior of their detached house, and now wanted a beautiful garden to match.
The challenge was to create a family friendly garden with elements that matched the strong Scandinavian character of the Siberian larch extension that they had built. With the couple favouring a strong Swedish influence, I had to create a garden that expressed this in a way that worked in suburban Surrey, with subtle visual cues taken from Swedish flora and landscape, and inspired by such modern icons as Ulf Nordfjell. The garden also had to be designed to be constructed in two phases, such that an area that at first incorporated a children’s swing set, would in a few years seamlessly be transformed into a beautiful space for relaxing outside in dappled shade next to a fire-pit. Backing on to a large area of allotments, the garden also needed screening and shade, and to be usable at all times of day, a lighting scheme was also included.
The garden initially repeated the use of Siberian Larch in both a bespoke garden shed and a matching fencing, but sadly once the quotes came back from the carpenter, that element, along with the large granite boulders that were to act as informal seats, had to be sacrificed – these are the realities of garden design. However, I was very fortunate in sourcing 6 huge multi-stem birch trees at a competitive price, and the birch, silver granite paving, larch timber and subdued planting palette all helped to give a strong sense of space. The build was expertly carried out by the team at Pengilly Landscapes and I implemented the planting myself. The clients are really happy with their garden and enjoy dining, relaxing, watching their daughter play, and even a spot of gardening, something neither of them had done before.