SMALL COURTYARD GARDEN, CHISWICK

We designed and built this tiny Chiswick garden in early 2020. Our client runs a busy PR agency and has over the years travelled to South East Asia for downtime - she was keen to bring some of that green and relaxation back home to Acton in this tiny courtyard space.

The materials were key in creating this space. The garden is ‘on view’ up close from the living areas so the use of quality materials with a high-quality finish was paramount. We chose charred Siberian larch (a traditional method of preserving wood in Japan known as Shou sugi ban) to clad an unattractive brick wall, cedar battens to increase privacy and buff Dutch clay pavers for the flooring. The simple colour combination provided the backdrop for the lush planting. We built a panel of battens formed into a geometric pattern in the corner to bring something of Francis Kere’s Serpentine Pavilion – our client loved this installation and wanted it referenced somehow. We painted the panel a blue as with Kere’s pavilion but a brighter cobalt which brings the blue often found in Goan buildings.

The planting, including tree fern and fan palm specimens, were chosen to evoke the lush planting found in areas that the client had travelled to. Contrast in leaf form and texture provides interest throughout the year ensuring the garden remains full of life even through the winter months.