Battersea TerraceContemporary Patio, London
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Consider storageTake a little break from your tidying to think about whether or not you need to invest in any more outdoor waterproof storage for tools and toys that perhaps don’t have an obvious home already.As you’re starting to pack things away, you might want to also investigate what you haven’t had out this summer. If there are items that you haven’t used this year, again consider donating or disposing of them so they’re not taking up space.
Capitalise on a cornerUsing a corner of your garden to create a built-in area for seating works very well, especially when you also design planting areas around the sides and back to make you feel like your are nestled into the space. When building your seating make sure you allow enough depth. I have seen too many built-in benches that are far too narrow to sit comfortably on. Choose plants that will add scent to the space like Lonicera periclymenum ‘Rhubarb and Custard’ or ‘Heaven Scent’, Trachelsopermum jasminoides, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Miss Jessopp’s Upright’, Sarcococca hookeriana and Lavandula ‘Hidcote’ or ‘Munstead’. Use grasses for movement and for softening edges of the planters: try Stipa tenuissima, which has a lovely soft, fluffy habit. And if you want to protect yourself from heat and like the idea of using trees, position the seating under some trees trained to grow in an umbrella shape, or site the seating near a tree that casts some dappled shade.
Design into a cornerThis compact paved garden is a masterclass in designing a small garden without compromising on style. Generous padded seating and two large planters create a smart hotel-like feel, and the large-format pale-grey paving slabs form a seamless flooring surface that could easily run indoors too. Horizontal-slatted perimeter fencing mirrors the style of the bench to create a coherent feel, and evergreen planting and structural grasses add movement and horticultural interest.
Prepare a cosy cornerIf you’ve already put your outdoor cushions away for the winter, now’s the time to give them one last outing. Your guests might want to sit down for a while, and it’s a good idea to create a spectator seating zone in order to keep everyone safely in one area. If your garden furniture is portable, pick an area that’s sheltered from the elements, such as next to a fence and perhaps even under a pergola or tree.
Create a cornerGet yourself somewhere to sit and let the gentle swish of grasses bring on a naughty (and totally involuntary) nap. Using the same material for the fence and sofa in this garden means maximum cohesion. Contrast comes in the form of climbers and other informal planting along the top of the bench, which balances the angular lines.