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A Sense of Privacy and Intimacy

29.07.21

No challenge is too small or too daunting for the Randle Siddeley design team, as shabby urban courtyards or muddy fields are reincarnated as flowering havens, lending the houses they adjoin newfound stature and beauty.   So many city gardens are small and overlooked and in this Tel Aviv garden Randle Siddeley’s challenge was to screen out the high buildings encroaching on either side and shield it from the hustle and bustle of the commercial neighbourhood.   The house was a new build with a Kelly Hoppen interior and the client wanted the garden to echo the design without being overly minimalist.

The priority was to create a sense of privacy and intimacy, so their first step was to give the 0.2 hectare garden structure with a line of mature palm trees, their foliage level with the upper windows of the house next door.  They created a red cedar trellis that is now festooned with white bougainvillea, providing an attractive boundary that hides the next-door property. They then installed cypress trees at the front of the house to soften the rendered walls bordering the entranceway.

They conceived a four-metre- high wall of water at the point where people enter.  The water constantly shimmers down the stainless-steel mesh and conceals the adjoining property, while creating an eye-catching dramatic feature. The design also used water to link the top garden with the lower garden that houses the swimming pool.  A cascade flows down the centre of the steps into the pool, not only providing a sense of cool in the hot climate but adding visual coherence and sense of calm and space to the two garden areas.

Their planting scheme was a cool, serene palette of fragrant blue and white flowers, including jasmine, plumbago, white Iceberg roses, lavender, agapanthus, fragipani and aquilegia as well as the white bougainvillea.

In an unpromising basement courtyard in London, tiny and overlooked, Randle Siddeley achieved nothing short of a miracle.  They gave it a sense of comfort, intimacy, privacy and calm by using western red cedar screens, which they describe as giving the feeling of a big arm wrapped around the garden.  The screens not only minimized ugly views of the neighbouring properties but gave the garden its signature, elegant, Eastern-influenced style.  They then replaced the engineering bricks, which had paved the garden, with decking to delineate a seating area and suggest a room within a room. The property walls were painted a creamy colour to give extra warmth to the sunken space.

The camelias found there were preserved and they introduced a structured planting scheme that was rich in foliage and texture. Plants needed to be shade-tolerant so they introduced evergreen ground-covering species like luzula, euphorbia and pachysandra, while installing larger shrubs, like scented osmanthus and sarcococca, to give structure and help soften the walls.  Hydrangeas, ferns and hostas complete the look and the garden is now transformed from a dingy, cold space hemmed in by high, dark walls into a relaxing, comfortable area that is a joy to look out at.

www.randlesiddeley.co.uk

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