Essex Landscape

Our clients are a young couple with two very young children. Their son is severely autistic. The large garden is an awkward shape and making matters worse is there is a large conifer that blocks the view around the corner and takes up quite a chunk of the garden. The couple are unable to enjoy the garden as they are under constant stress of not being able to keep an eye on their son. Our job is create a garden that the couple can associate with enjoyment rather than stress. Their son’s autism restricts them from going out for dinners and drinks with friends and family so their requirement was to be able to do this at home.

Removing the cumbersome deck platform has made the upper terrace a more open, inviting space. The terrace has been re-laid using a contemporary sawn finish sandstone. An ‘L’ shaped sofa to lounge on. The garden has also been brought right up to the house with a planted border, evergreen jasmine on the fence to provide scent, Wisteria to climb along the wall of the house and containerised planting. Ornamental grasses have been planted at the edge of the top terrace. These have an ethereal quality. All the brickwork and fences have been painted a dark grey to make the greens, purples, yellows and whites of the planting really pop. We have opened up view and reclaimed a large part of the garden by removing the huge conifer. The social spaces have been expanded further into the garden with a lower terrace laid in the same stone. A deck intersects the patio, stretching out further into the garden. This now connects one part of the garden to the other. It also provides the couple with a place to relax whilst also being able to keep an eye on the children. Using different materials helps to define spaces. Two louvered pergolas have been installed. A bespoke outdoor kitchen has been designed with a bbq and a bar. On the deck we have created an outdoor dining area. The lower terrace is surrounded by borders of planting. Multi-stem Amelanchier lamarckii have been plant to give a sense of privacy. A small water feature has been installed as their son loves water but the sound is also good for the senses. The lower terrace also has an egg chair which their son is very fond of.

The rest of garden has a lovely wild, naturalistic, woodland feel and we wanted to keep that. A mown path weaves through the taller grass and under a rose covered moon gate. Curves of Anemanthele lessoniana enhance the sensory feel of this area. We wanted to provide the clients with some me time. We have positioned a onion shaped love seat in the glade area for them to have date nights. The glade is also a great place for the children to have a teddy bears picnic. I land formation has been constructed around the back caressing the love seat. The children are able to walk along it but it is particularly good for their autistic son. We have maintained the trees in this part of the garden to keep the woodland feel. Evergreen hedges have created privacy from the neighbours. A shed has also been constructed hidden behind hedging for those essential garden tools. Our clients had a concern that their son may try to venture to the brook at the rear of the garden due to his love of water. To keep the focus off this area we have done mass planting along the rear. Two very mature trees exist in the garden that were crying out for a hammock to be hung between them.

A stressful space has been transformed into a calm relaxing garden that serves many different purposes from entertainment and parties to play and dates nights.

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