A rather dull, uneven but spacious Clontarf townhouse garden area is re-designed and dramatically transformed to be become an appealing and easily managed oasis to relax or entertain. The brief provided by the busy professional owners, was for a garden with an inspiring and indulging space. A garden in which they could simply admire or enjoy a quiet relaxing moment with friends or family but one not requiring onerous routine garden maintenance.
Once the old garden was removed, the broken and ad hoc timber fence panels taken down, revealed the scope for a more adventurous design. The boundary walls were repaired, heights modified and greatly enhanced by a lime enriched wall rendering which provided a wonderful clean, smooth and bright wall finish.
The owners being busy outdoor people liked to spend as much time enjoying and entertaining in the garden which prompted the design to include raised planting beds. Ideal for adding distinctive focal points, enhanced visibility of planting spaces, contained and facilitating easier access for any maintenance but probably a big advantage especially for smaller spaces, provided plenty of informal seating.
Although the previous garden did have a natural lawn, it presented many challenges not least time for the busy owners to maintain in good shape and condition. Initially the owners had considered replacing the lawn with a patio but having seen the design agreed to opt for a synthetic grass lawn which provided not only a better look and more complementary finish to the morning and evening patio areas located at opposite ends of the garden but no more cutting grass etc.
The planting reflecting a preferred low maintenance regime did not lack any reduction in diversity, quality or visual appeal. Some distinctive focal points were provided by the seasonal and flaming Japanese Maple (Acer Fireglow), colourful and wispy forms of the Nandina domesticas and the contrasting half standard variagated Holly (Lollipop). The underplanting featured a wide mix of low growing evergreen shrubs, herbaceous perennials ensuring a colourful and fullness to the planting areas of the raised planting beds.
Kota grey limestone was the preferred paving for the patio areas as well as the wall capping for the cream sandstone raised planter beds, ensuring a calming, enduring and almost maintenance free results.
In smaller gardens, it is essential to make good use of all available space, in most cases space is visible and mostly all. Plant or paved it must be done with a purpose and an eye for fun and functionality. The form and layout are critical aspects and use line to create interesting appeal and in this project, simple gentle curves are used to create a softer and more appealing result than what a routine straightline.