Awards & Accreditations
2016 - Design Excellence Award - Overall Scheme Over £50K
Essex Country GardenClient Brief Rundle House is a late 14th century, Grade II* listed building located within a small village in rural Essex. The clients had moved into the property a few years previous, and were in the process of carrying out architectural renovations to the main house in the form of a contemporary family room which subtly and tastefully references the history of the building. This change is what prompted the re-design of the immediate courtyard space which connects the house to the wider garden.
The clients were looking to bring the outdated space up to a standard which meets that of the internal works, in order to create an indoor/outdoor terraced area which will become an extension to the hub of the family home. The courtyard is where the clients wanted to live, eat and entertain when outdoors. The clients wanted a contemporary feeling space; but which had some reference to the historical backdrop of the house to avoid creating an aesthetical disparity. Being part of a larger garden, the courtyard must also create a suitable threshold that avoids completely disjointing itself from the more ’natural’ garden, particularly given the change in level between the two.
Other factors within the brief included the need for privacy from neighbouring buildings/ windows, as well as a keen use of lighting and healthy incorporation of planting. Views out from the property were a big consideration in terms of bringing the feel of greenery into the internal spaces, as well as framing views to other areas of the garden.
Delivery Aralia addressed the courtyard in a very geometric fashion to create a contemporary base frame which offered generous spaces for both useable spaces, and planting. This was a welcome change following the previous layout, which was all pathways and narrow spaces. The threshold between courtyard and wider garden was cleaned up entirely, with vegetation, concrete and old trellis work removed; which allowed a better connection to the views to a large horse chestnut tree at the foot of the garden. Two options for the threshold between the courtyard and wider garden were offered; one was a formal extension of the geometric hard landscaped forms in the courtyard and the second was a wildcard; which expressed a much more natural form, bringing the lawn right up to the main living space. The clients were very interested in pursuing the second, which resulted in tiered grass landform helps to bridge the height change whilst creating both a contemporary statement and a fun element for the children to play on and use.
Back within the courtyard, three separate living spaces were created using a division of planting; one for eating, one for entertaining and one for relaxing – all of which were deliberately flexible and interchangeable. A sense of enclosure and seclusion were sought for two of the terraces, one using a row of pleached trees for privacy, and the other a large oak/steel pergola which now provides a frame for the existing wisteria to climb across. The oak of the pergola sits perfectly against the brickwork of the building whilst the clean cut geometry is a refreshing change from the undulations of such an historic house. The pergola uses tubular metal supports to prevent bowing, as well as holding up one of the overheads which couldn’t be supported by a vertical in order to avoid blocking the annex window. Bespoke fabricated steel legs were made to keep the timber out of the ground to prevent rotting – the timber was routed to fit the legs perfectly, for a flush finish. Bird spikes are temporary.
Mid-way through construction of the courtyard, the clients asked us to look at extending the scope of our works slightly to include a small terrace by the annex, with steps down to the lawn. The annex was at the time to be renovated at a later date (currently in progress at time of writing) and the clients simply wanted a small space for general purposes. Aralia extended the stepping stone pathway and grassed landform to the location of a new terrace to match stone in the courtyard. Steps down to the lawn were spaced and laid out to roughly match the change in levels set by the lawn, and a small planting strip either side allowed for planting to hide the interface, which now hosts cascading mounds of fragrant lavender. Yorkstone kerbs and instant Buxus hedging were also added at the front of the property to help formalise the aesthetic of what is such an integral part of the village’s heritage.
The build ran extremely smoothly, which is often a rarity, and the clients were extremely pleased with how the garden was constructed and with the overall final aesthetics, and practicalities of the garden. The planting has only had just over 12 months to establish and is already looking pretty good, which we feel is a reflection on great soil preparation, and great choice of plants ‘fit for their location’.Main Contractor: Focused LandscapesSuppliers: Ashwell Timber, Deepdale Trees, London Stone, Robin Tacchi Plants
Sponsored by: Adtrak
2015 - Design Excellence Award - Overall Scheme Over £50K
Chelsea Creek Rooftop Terrace, London, SW6, St George Plc**PRINCIPAL AWARD WINNER**This project was completed under extremely tight deadlines. St George had already appointed a Landscape Architect practise but following our CFS 2012 Show Garden 'Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow' they then commissioned Aralia to design a series of 7 Penthouse Roof Terraces. Aralia was appointed end June 2012 and initial concepts were required to be submitted within 2 weeks of appointment. Working alongside Tara Bernerd who has designed the interiors, and Broadway Malyon Architects, Patricia and her team designed a series of London rooftop gardens, which although individually unique, have an underlying design thread, which runs throughout the whole series, providing a unified scheme across the development. Inspiration was taken from both the architecture of the building, and from the interiors, and Aralia working as Landscape Architects developed a series of Mood Boards depicting materials, features, art and planting. This ground-breaking series of London rooftop gardens embraces the very latest in garden design, encompassing quality natural materials such as corten steel, granite and shot blasted glass, whilst introducing contemporary state of the art outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces, water features and green walls. Garden art also has a key focus within these London gardens, with the introduction of specially commissioned pieces for stone sculptures and unique glass art. The linear hard landscape design, with fluid rivers of under lit glass, relate beautifully to the linearity of the canals below. The design for the soft landscaping schemes were challenging – the gardens needed to be relatively low maintenance, they needed to stand up to the harsh environment of a London rooftop location, whilst also still providing seasonality and all year interest. The planting scheme is linear and highly contemporary in nature, evergreen planting provides all year structure and form, with warm rusts and burnt orange flower head’s providing a splash of seasonal colour, complementary to the features throughout.Client: St George Developments LtdMain Contractor: Ardmore GroupSuppliers: Blakedowns - Soft Landscape Install, Robin Tacchi Plants, Deepdale Trees, Leyla Murr - Glass Artist, Thomas Bramwell - Planters, Kinley Systems
Sponsored by: Springbridge Direct Ltd
2013 - Design Excellence Award – overall project cost up to £50K
Little Eden, Hertfordshire
Classic contemporary courtyard garden set within the grounds of a rural property with a Grade II listed building and barn-style outbuilding framing the space.
Designer: Patricia Fox - Aralia Garden Design
Suppliers: Robin Tacchi Plants, Suffolk Gates, Kent Blaxill, UK Timber
Sponsored by: Marshalls
2011 - Design Excellence Award – overall project cost up to £50K
A private garden - Regents Park Terrace, London
A very competent design with a traditional approach drawn from in depth discussions with the clients. Good spatial definition and transition between different garden rooms. Space has become confined due mainly to selecting five different compartments (driven form the fact the building has five levels). This will be more of a problem as the plants mature but careful maintenance could mitigate this. Good use of existing York stone flags and the overall result looks interesting and inviting.
A very competent design with a traditional approach drawn from in-depth discussions with the clients.
Sponsored by: Stonemarket.
2010 - Design Excellence Award – overall project cost up to £50K
The client wanted a feeling of tranquillity for the garden to their Victorian home. They required a sense of seclusion and intimacy in a space meant for privacy. Yet it had to be light and airy and in no way claustrophobic. Careful layering of plants and design elements by Patricia Fox helped them achieve all these goals, but it was not easy. Mature Tilia trees were protected and had formidably large root balls that could not be interfered with. Then there was the site itself, which was so tight that design elements had to be built bespoke as standard items would not work in the space. The result is a unique, compact garden with a deceptively spacious feel, and one that met every demand from an exacting client.
Sponsored by: Spanish Plants
2009 - Design Excellence Award
School Cottage, Allens Green, Sawbridgeworth
A good, well balanced design responding to and meeting the client’s brief well. This is a delightful domestic garden with soft and sophisticated planting that is in keeping with the overall style.
Sponsored by: Society of Garden Designers