Contemporary cottage garden

South Park, Wimbledon
Long narrow garden

To create an enchanting, plant-lovers contemporary cottage garden – to extend from the lower ground floor of a stylish recently refurbished ground floor extension.


Long narrow waterlogged site with existing Eucalyptus tree and level changes. Imposing hedge at rear.

Design Response:

With any long garden the general concept should be to draw the user into all areas and encourage to use or at the very least look at the far away parts!

Initial focus was therefore to create a beautiful seating area at the far end of the plot to seduce people to use the whole garden.

The other challenge with this site was how narrow it felt with the existing fencing, imposing on both sides, creating an alleyway feel and so a stylish application was required for the boundaries, not only for a cohesive aesthetic but also to give a feeling of space.

We complimented the interior tiling of the newly refurbished kitchen with a matching outdoor porcelain tile which we wrapped around the side return for completeness. The threshold was made level with a step up for indoor /outdoor flow with matching grout and sight lines from the internal hallway.

We picked up on the colour palette used by the client internally and reflected this outside – strong blue grey on the fencing, with softer pinks and whites and natural wood tones running through planting and material detailing.

We created an occasional seat by the house for morning coffee as this spot got the early sun and planted two structural tabletop trees to marry in with the height of the rear elevation of the house and create shade and sense of seclusion when looking back at neighbouring houses.

““I’m so happy with my finished garden. The team worked really hard in all weather and I’m thrilled with the finished look””

Extensive low level planting below created functional flow back to the house, connecting visually with full length Crittal doors.

We then laid a stepping stone path running through the lawn with a backdrop of feature dark painted fencing to both recede and improve on overall styling (colour and material choice as per the single storey extension). Narrow planting beds down the sides, maximised the width of the lawn through this middle section, encouraging a feeling of width and space.

The large Eucalyptus tree was made a feature with planting at it’s base (which incidentally blew down 6 months later in a huge storm but that’s another story)! Irrigation was essential with plants competing for nutrition from the ground and water from the tree roots – this system ran throughout all planting beds.

The showcase piece of the design was the beautiful bespoke seating area which incorporated a cleverly integrated box seat as a focal point from the house, which will, with time, be enveloped by the existing large Ligustrum hedge, leaving a unique almost floating structure. It’ll be encouraged to grow forward on all sides, leaving just the boxed aperture. A perfect spot to while away an afternoon with a book and G&T in hand…..

The centre piece – a bespoke firepit (quickly becoming a Harrington Porter staple) and additional furniture, created a space to be used by the family late into the evening, dressed with overhead festoon lights installed on high tension wires as part of the garden’s extensive lighting scheme which operated from remote control.

Concept visuals

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