Set in a the beautiful Dorney in Maidenhead, surrounded by lakes and tributaries to the Thames, a garden was in need of a design… a landscape and some 34 tonnes later…


Brief

The client required a shaded area outside to act as both a dining area and outdoor office, as well as a separate patio terrace that incorporated a fire pit. These separate areas needed to be linked to create a space that, on a good day, blurs…destroys the lines between outside and inside of the property. It had to be a relaxing space, multi-use and present in an uncluttered way.


Design

A bespoke mechanized louvre system was designed to wrap around the house and act as both sun and rain shield. Alternatively, if one should need to top up their supply of vitamin D they could simply open the louvres with the push of a button. Once opened, the unused UV rays would be greeted by a rather large composite deck that extends beyond the limits of shelter, drawing only the most intrepid sun seekers into the orchards and chicken pens beyond. The composite decking structure was essential as maintenance, or should I say the lack of it, was high on the agenda for this project. Millboard was our choice material due to the colour and texture.

In order for the client to maximise the use time of this new space we added a fire pit, centrally located and more than a garden feature; in this particular case, its ability to toast marshmallows and keep the late-night revelers warm on the terrace. Our fire was a natural affair so we needed somewhere to store logs. Abutting the grey sandstone terrace, a circular steel log store was surrounded by some of Decorum’s very own Shou Sugi Ban, in this particular case a charred Kebony® that was then heavily brushed. Adding more height to the terrace is a lone fig tree planted in a raised herb bed that will eventually grow along the charred timber and gives the illusion of a canopy.

The dream, however, is not yet complete. By extending the floor space of the kitchen/dining room, adding furniture and an Umbris canopy we have succeeded in bringing the inside out. Any terrace or garden with hard landscaping should always look like it belongs in its surroundings and has to be carefully considered. This was of high importance for this project due to the contemporary lines of the design and the biophilic garden beyond. We used a veritable sea of native wildflowers that encroached from the landscape beyond and made islands of the fire pit and dining areas. For this space to work, island hopping was essential; so to traverse the wild meadows and swathes of colour we used floating board walks that both reminded the client of their Canadian honeymoon and maximized planting space.

We have to be self-congratulatory as we have succeeded, the lines have been destroyed, dimensions combined, traditions bowed and the result is a very useable, rather pretty, little garden.


Reception

We absolutely love the space that Ben and his team created for us. Ben listened to all of our suggestions and came up with a design that fitted our needs as well as helping us to imagine what else we could do to create a space that works for us. The team that carried out the landscaping and build were incredible. Their attention to detail was second to none, and there were no corners cut. As with all big projects certain things are discovered on the way and things happen, and the team dealt with these with no fuss and absolute professionalism. The end result surpassed our expectations. Throughout the end to end project Ben and the team were easy to deal with, they were fun to have around, they kept the site tidy and they delivered a very special end project, which we adore.

How we can help you?

We adapt to the needs of every client, fluent in a combination of traditional techniques ensuring the hard landscaping works in harmony with the soft planting, garden art and style in your garden.

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