First steps to a contemporary sunken garden…

This month in Caversham (in some of the hottest temperatures this year!) we have been constructing a sunken garden at our client’s property.

Sunken gardens are a design concept we are not often asked to incorporate – a shame because they instantly create a contemporary look. They also provide the perfect social space and epitomise a modern glamour with their streamline style. This was evident at Chelsea this year in the LG Eco-City garden designed by Hay-Joung Hwang (see our Chelsea 2018 blog from last month).

Back to Caverhsam and Alison’s design for our client’s sunken garden… First we excavated levels and laid a concrete floor base. We installed concrete block walls to construct the square shape of the structure, with a generous planting border between the outer and inner walls. The outside wall is 4” in depth compared to the width of the inside wall at 9”, which creates a more streamlined look to the finish.

The walls were then rendered with sand and cement and painted in a light grey colour using ‘Sandtex’ – an outside masonry paint. The colour of the paint was chosen by our client to compliment the grey tones of the porcelain tiles to be laid on the concrete floor.

Drainage is of course particularly important in a sunken garden and we installed a brick slot eco drain which is connected to a newly installed soakaway.

A large pergola was constructed above the garden which covers the entire seating area. By staining the pergola a dark exterior wood shade – our client chose the ‘Jacobean Walnut’ colour in the ‘Sadolin’ range – we’ve achieved a nice contrast to the light grey of the walls and porcelain floor tiles.

The pergola’s long angular lines echo those of the shutter screen fence we constructed behind it. This screen fence helps to anchor the sunken garden to the overall area wrapping its L shaped arm around the right hand side.

Most of the work has now been done to create a wonderful social and entertaining space and we have even installed cables ready for internet connection. Next month’s blog will provide an update on our progress and hopefully reveal the finished results of this stunning sunken garden.

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