A Family Garden, Edinburgh

My clients on this project had a sunny, enclosed rear garden which had the potential to be a really great family space, however it was dominated by hard landscaping in a variety of out of date styles.  Since moving into the property, the clients had already begun to make changes, removing a water feature and central paved area, and installing a lawn and children’s play area which they were keen for me to incorporate into the design.  

The solution:

To the rear and one side, the garden was bounded by an old painted brick wall with a trellis above.  This was removed and replaced with a timber fence which was painted dark grey – this gives the illusion of the fence fading into the background, which means attention is drawn to the planting within the garden.

Within the garden I created two separate patio areas – one immediately outside the rear of the house for the clients to step outside and enjoy a cup of coffee.  The other, the main dining area, is located in the sunniest corner of the garden.  The patios were laid using stone paving, linked with informal paths made of gravel. 

After the hard landscaping was completed, I added lots of planting to soften the garden, which was a dramatic change from how the garden had looked.  At the back of the garden a new Acer tree balances an existing small apple tree and provides vibrant colour against the dark fence.  Shrub borders screen the view of the garden from the front street and give the main seating area a secluded feel.  Shrubs include Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’, Osmanthus x burkwoodii, and Euonymus ‘Emerald Gaiety’.  Mixed perennials including Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, Verbena bonariensis, and Paeonia ‘Shirley Temple’ divide the second patio from the play area beyond, with plenty of colour and scent to bring the garden to life in summer.