A heavily sloping garden on solid chalk presented a challenge recently to Landart Garden Design and Build, based near Hampton Court, Surrey. The clients wanted to replace a tired-looking patio and rather bleak wall in their garden in East Horsley with something brighter and more modern.
The owners have three daughters, so time constraints on the couple and family use of the patio were considerations in the choice of paving. Designer Ellen Gordon rejuvenated the whole patio area with our Blue Grey Granite, adding definition with Midnight Black Limestone coping on the walls.
“The Midnight Black Limestone offers a contrast in texture and a more solid colour than the granite,” says Ellen, who set up Landart with her husband in 1994. She didn't choose it for the whole design, she explained, as the granite has the advantage of presenting a softer mix of greys. “Blue Grey Granite is very forgiving in terms of showing up dirt,” she adds.
Some designers might have been tempted to extend the rendering on the terracing to a retaining wall at the bottom of the slope. “That would have been too much,” says Ellen. “And it's a rural area, so the gabions worked well with the surroundings.” The gabions are also a practical alternative to a wall in this position, as there's no chance of cracking.
Overall, the granite, limestone and gabions provide a gentle blend of greys that tone with the different shades of green afforded by the grass, hedges and trees that form the further vista, creating an elegant yet very practical solution to a difficult site.