London Garden Design
Designs in London have to take into consideration a number of factors. As with any other gardens outside of London, the size and function of the garden has to be considered. What must also be taken into consideration is that though there are a variety of gardens in London from large to small, from courtyard to front garden, from roof garden to balcony garden they are all surrounded by the city, itself. This means that the majority of London gardens are affected by limited sunlight, particular soils and the surrounding buildings and neighbouring gardens. London gardens are surrounded by the city and it is difficult to merge them into the landscape (although there are good views from some gardens) and they are usually enclosed and shut off from the city and its surroundings.
Designing a Sanctuary
Enclosed gardens in London are popularly regarded as a retreat, a haven, a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. It is perceived that they should be separate from the city and rather than reflect London occupy a quiet space that contains qualities the city does not appear to possess.
One way in which to create a sanctuary in London is to create an exotic garden. This is done through clever plantation strategy. Ornamental rather than vegetable plantation will create a scene of colour. This can be done with a variety of gardens from rock garden to formal flower gardens. Rock gardens are best suited to courtyard or at least ground level gardens. It is unlikely that the garden will have a natural rock formation in London so it is best to consult a professional designer about creating an artificial formation as these can be a complex creation. Flower gardens are usually informal in the country as there is greater access to wild plantation which gardens may even blend in with and extend the garden. A formal flower garden in London will bring it colour and life and carefully chosen plants will ensure colour in all seasons.
Container gardens also work well in London areas in roof gardens and balconies. Containers of plants can look cheap and messy but carefully chosen plants, stylish containers and complementary features can make a garden very attractive. Herb gardens also work well in container gardens and flower gardens as they are functional and add interesting scents. Garden designers can now provide and install features for container gardens such as a water feature in a trough to be placed on a roof garden. This type of garden design is ideal for roof gardens and balconies as the materials used to create the garden need to be light and feasibly moved to a roof or balcony.
Water Water Everywhere
Water designs are very popular as they can both provide a garden of peace and tranquillity and add some exoticism. Persian gardens, for example, traditionally use water features for irrigation, display and sound. These water features can easily be replicated and reproduced in modern gardens. Water designs are ideal for London gardens as they inspire a place of quiet reflection away from the loud and cluttered city. There are a range of water features to choose from. Ponds work well in ground level gardens but need to be carefully located away from child’s play areas and the sizing needs to be very accurate as it is difficult to change once completed. Water features like ponds can also be functional as seating can be incorporated into this (and other fixtures) with the addition of a wide brim making effective use of space. However if the garden is not suited to a pond, fountains, mists and pools are amongst a wide range of water features to choose from. It is now possible to have a water garden anywhere as there are a large number of materials available to construct them. Water pumps, sand, pebbles, hoses, cement, reservoir tank, stone, spirit level and tile are the types of construction material used to create the feature. Garden designers can both advise on the use of such material and also install water gardens. Once the water feature is installed it requires little maintenance creating a lasting impression that does not fade upon completion.
Let There Be Light
What is also key to a garden in London, regardless of planting design and features is the creation of light. Most gardens in London are naturally overshadowed by the surrounding conglomerate of buildings. It is important to introduce light and colour into these gardens to make them look good. This can be done through the painting of the fencing and fixtures in either bold, strong colours or in light colours which artificially enhances the brightness of the garden and can be applied to any type of London garden. Fixtures and fencing are also easily supplied if not already in place and there are a range of designs from stone, fencing, iron railings, hurdling, wood and hedges that can be sourced and used.
In addition to painted fixtures the garden can be lighted artificially through the use of electric lighting. It is important to involve professionals in the installation of garden lighting as it must be protected from water used for plant irrigation and can cause enormous expense if not done properly. It is recommended that ordinary bulbs are not used but solar bulbs and lights chosen from a range of garden lighting. It is also important to remember to ensure the garden does not resemble Christmas all year around and that lighting is effectively used to highlight. Lights for occasional use such as oil lamps for visitors can be used in conjunction with permanent lighting for entertainment purposes.
Lightening and brightening a London garden and creating a luxurious yet tranquil space in the City will create a good London garden