Archive - Camberwell Garden
The Old Garden:

The garden needed a full planting overhaul. The client had installed the paving and cobbles a few years previously to divide the long narrow garden into a series of rooms. This is a well-practiced design trick that worked well in this context. The south facing garden was severely shaded by neighboring trees and a giant sycamore in their garden.

The Brief:

The client wanted to grow vegetables and pick flowers for the house. The lawn needed to be retained and we decided early on that the majority of the budget should be spent on plants rather than changing the terrace and paths that were already in place. Improving the amount of sunshine that the garden received was a priority. The planting style was a subject of great debate. The client loved sedate formal gardens but also thought that the ostentatious style of the Victorian approach to bedding was fantastic. A love of English cottage garden was also thrown into the mix. It was also requested that the garden be low maintenance as two children and being a director of a company meant that there was little time for gardening!

The New Garden:

The first job was to improve the allocated vegetable garden by building two chunky raised beds. Symmetrical and opposite each other, they had holly standards planted in the middle to give a nod to the formal and this are was screened with a yew hedge that would be tightly clipped as it matured. A compost area was included. This area also housed the shed and worked well as the utility area.

The neighboring trees were cut back. The sycamore was removed after long discussions with the client and a tree surgeon. We were reluctant to remove a large healthy tree. However, there was question as to the value of keeping the sycamore, as they are prolific self-seeders. We decided to plant two fruit trees in the vegetable area as penance.

Further formality was introduced by planting box parterres. They were inter-planted with bulbs and flowers for cutting and large terracotta pots were filled with bedding as homage to the Victorians. Such wide-ranging planting styles needed careful consideration as to ensure cohesion. A colour theme of whites and purples was introduced for the frivolous plants while we stuck to traditional dark evergreens for the formal structure of the garden.

Finally a quarterly maintenance plan was agreed to assist the client and ensure the garden developed as desired.

© 2022 Mark Cummings Garden Design