The clients had lived in their apartment in Wapping for the past 18 months. Their outdoor space consists of a South East facing paved terrace (with perimeter pebbled drainage). Sheltered from prevailing winds, this captures the morning/early afternoon sun and overlooks the communal gardens and the River Thames beyond. The couple indicated their keenness to look at what could now be achieved in the design of their terrace, “borrowing” views from the surrounding area and creating a restful space, blending in with the general environment.
The terrace was furnished with grey patio furniture and the clients were keen to spend time considering the colour and appearance of the planters. Possible colours were bleached terracotta or porcelain grey. They were also interested in using two glazed, dark coloured, containers left by the previous owners.
An old garden bench was to be included into the design. The couple also planned to relocate their cat from the midlands and wanted to take this into account in determining the design. Under the terms of their lease, nothing could be attached to the walls of the terrace, so any type of “cat climbing deterrent” would need to be a free standing structure.
Electricity was present on the terrace for the existing exterior lights. There was no external water source, but the clients were receptive to exploring whether some form of watering system could be fitted. They also wished to explore whether additional low voltage lighting for the terrace could be fitted.
In terms of planting, their preference was for a limited colour palette of predominantly white/cream, with a mix of evergreen and deciduous planting; their aim being to create a scented, green space, without encroaching upon the useable area of the terrace or robbing them of their river views. Planting favourites included: white blossom, snowdrops, honeysuckle, jasmine, small roses and lavenders, and possibly azaleas/camellias and a selection of culinary herbs/vegetables for the kitchen. In addition, a pink rose had worked its way up from the communal gardens onto the terrace and this could be incorporated into their thinking.
A design was created for them which both takes into account their requirements and is sufficiently straightforward for them to build themselves, with perhaps a small amount of additional help. Wooden containers with free standing trellises were added to create an organic feel, allowing them to paint the wood to blend into their terrace design colours, if desired. These could then then to be planted with a mix of coral pink climbing roses and climbing jasmine, the thorns acting as a deterrent for their cat.
The river views were framed by the two groups of three feature pots, of varying sizes, containing Camellias, Alpine Cherry, Crab Apple and Hebes (all to be under planted with snowdrops). Olive and bay trees, fuchsias and white lavender were included in the design, together with a vegetable/herb area, surrounded by climbing plants.
It was agreed that casters could be added to their wooden planters (for ease of movement/cleaning) and the design allowed for accent lighting to be added to the feature planters and trellises. Finally, a small garden store was added to provide garden equipment storage and additional seating.
The planting in the communal garden is reflected in the planting on the terrace, using miniature versions of plants in the landscape to create what appears to be a continuum with the surrounding environment.
Examples are provided of the terrace before the design, a Mood Board, a Sketch showing framing the River View, the Design Drawings, Planting Information and the clients’ photograph of the construction “in progress”.