Sunny Hillside Garden
Evoking the Garrigue
This was a rather unloved garden which the clients simply passed through on their way in and out of the house. Although mature, the garden had filled out and lost its identity. We wanted to create a new sense of engagement with a bright, inviting space.
With the clients connections to the south of France and the existing Mediterranean-type plants, the decision was taken to tease out the garden's underlying character and build on that rather than impose a new identity.
Designing with a light touch on a sunny hillside, an evocation of the garrigue of southern France was defined as the gardens new character and as the garden sits on Corstorphine Hill, an old sandstone quarrying site, stone and gravel were chosen to be dominant elements within the garden.
With sustainability in mind much of the existing materials were re-used or re-purposed where possible and imported materials and plants restricted to a limited palette in tune with, and strengthening, the new character of the garden.
To this end the best of the existing Mediterranean-type plants were pruned and augmented with a limited range of others of similar shape and form, to build a coherent structure based on the repetition of strong, clear forms.
Early bulbs and robust herbaceous plants provide episodes of colour, but the garden is characterised primarily by rhythm and contrast in the forms of the shrubs and trees.
Existing stone containers were also retained and allow planting details to be displayed.
Hewn boulders, one acting as a stone bench become focal points in the garden, drawing the eye and inviting closer inspection all year round. With the planting filtering the view of the street there is now the opportunity to take a seat in the garden.
The end result was a new smart front garden with ‘wow’ factor and yet conveying a strong sense of place and is now much loved by the clients.