patio garden

“Sitting in an English garden, waiting for the sun, and if the sun don’t come, we’ll be standing in the English rain.”

John Lennon

I’ve done a lot of standing in the English rain, I’ve got to say.  When the sun shines though, England is just so beautiful (and, yes, even grimy London).  Although small, our patio is a suntrap and the previous owner’s garden was beautiful (even if edged in barbed wire).  I managed to salvage the 40 year old wisteria but the rest of the garden had to be ripped up to sort out the drainage and sewage issues.  A real shame.

barbed wire

I kid you not.  The wisteria really did grow through the barbed wire which was edged in corroded metal rods.

I started using a garden designer but couldn’t find a design I liked.  The two things I really wanted was privacy and an in-ground trampoline.  Here is one design that was created:


In this design, the trampoline takes centre stage as if the children jumping was performance art.  Not very relaxing.

For our patio garden, I’ve gone with an outside room vibe.  I feel like an addict but I have to admit I LOVE flowers.  So there.  Contemporary gardens have lots of architectural plants, box hedging, etc.  But I wanted my flowers!!!!    So I came up with what I call “urban cottage” — zinc planters, horizontal slatted trellising, ornamental grasses and lots of flowers (minus the barbed wire).

I am particularly fond of the sun-bleached reddish-pink London stock bricks forming the walls.


We are horribly overlooked and my first priority was getting some privacy.  We put in modern horizontal trellising on top of the original London red brick walls. It’s painted in Farrow and Ball Pigeon – a lovely, mellow grayish green which blends into the surroundings.


We also put in pleached Photinia which in a couple of years should grow together to form a tall hedge above the trellising.  There are two silver birch trees to soften the odd angles of the space, one of which is in a giant pot because of concerns of roots growing too close to the house.

pleached trees

Finally, we put in a pergola for the wisteria to grow over.  The pergola provides screening from top floor neighbours’ windows.  The plan is for the purple wisteria on one side and newly-planted yellow lantana on the other side to echo the colours of the living room wallpaper.


I also plan on creating a secret garden in the side return for the children to use.  Right now, they use the inground trampoline to burn off energy and the patio stone is great for drawing with chalk.

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