Highgate Hill Garden

A garden designed to incorporate a pottery studio and evening entertaining spot around a majestic Cedar tree.

Peaceful decking area for sun lounging whilst listening to the gentle babbling water feature.
Peaceful decking area
Stage 1

The Brief

The clients had recently completed a substantial renovation of their home, and now a few years later wanted to turn their attention to the garden. The existing patio drained towards the house, causing water to pool, and there was a long steep narrow path sloping up to the rear, that acted like a water slide on days of heavy rainfall. The client was a ceramicist and part of the garden remodelling was to include a pottery studio in an underutilised area of the rear garden. A beautiful Cedar tree forms the main feature of the rear garden and required careful working around.

Stage 2

Design and Build

Our approach was to work laterally across the garden and create 3 distinct but subtle areas. A lower patio surrounded with deep planting beds, a middle deck and lawn area, and then the rear woodland, which would envelop the studio. The main challenge was to create a space at the back of the garden that would entice the whole family out to enjoy and spend time in.

The iconic Nanna Ditzel egg chair, hangs from the Cedar tree.
The iconic Nanna Ditzel egg chair
An L shaped floating hardwood timber bench sits in front of the new corten steel planter; lush greenery spills out from above softening the straight edges.
An L shaped floating hardwood timber bench
Stage 3

Finished Project

The real success of this garden, is that the previous derelict piece of land in the rear third, has now become the most enjoyed spot. The pottery studio is used daily, but come evening, the second half of the studio has a lounge opening onto the garden, and around the trunk of the Cedar tree , is a firepit and armchairs, where the whole family comes together.

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Charming Rosa 'Lady of Shalott' in full bloom surrounded by Monarda ‘Kardinal’.
The seating area is totally enveloped in luscious green creating shelter and privacy. Penstemon ‘Raven’ and Geranium ‘Rozanne’ provide textural and seasonal interest with the Persicaria ‘Blackfield’ and Deschampsia Cespitosa ‘Goldtau’ in the background.
Deschampsia Cespitosa ‘Goldtau’ and Penstemon ‘Raven' provide contrasting textures and colours in the planting bed.
Hardwood timber deck has aged naturally to a silver grey. The corten details tie in with the timber of the deck chairs.
The staggered poured concrete stepping stones create a gentle meandering journey through the lawn up to the rear woodland garden.
The ‘secret’ built-in oak boardwalk leads to a hidden trampoline tactfully concealed amongst the woodland planting.
A fire bowl warm up this gorgeous seating area hidden among the Betula jacquemontii ‘Doorenbos’ trees in the woodland.
Woodland view from our client’s stunning pottery studio
A cozy seating area on the garden studio decking enveloped in lush green; it’s our clients favourite corner to sit and enjoy the garden view.
Corten steel water bowl offers a focal view when walking down through the lawn staggered path.
An L shaped floating hardwood timber bench sits in front of the new corten steel planter; lush greenery spills out from above softening the straight edges.
First floor view of the rear garden: a sedum roof has been installed on the new house extension to conceal its appearance.
The clients woodland area to the rear of the garden with outdoor pottery studio and cosy lounge area with outdoor fire pit and armchairs for evening entertaining.
Corten steel risers and planters offer a striking contrast with the light toned sandstone treads while the surrounding plants spill over the edges softening the straight lines.
Nightime shot of the whole studio tucked and built around the clients beautiful Cedar tree.
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Photos by Marianne Majerus
Photos 2, 16 and 18 by Mike Caldwell