Friday, February 26, 2010

How to design your garden office garden

It's time for a new regular-ish column and since garden offices are almost always in a garden, we're concentrating on how your shedlike atmosphere fits into the lovely green things around it. The first example comes from Liz Saward who runs Gardens for Living and built this rather lovely Japanese garden which features a superb teahouse from Jade Pavilions who have a truly spectacular portfolio of teahouse designs for shedworkers who want a garden office that's a little bit different. Here's what Liz says about the garden design:
My client has a love of Japanese gardens and has visited a number of gardens whilst in Japan. She knew that she wanted a teahouse to display her kimono and other Japanese items. She has a very busy work life and gardening (and Japanese gardens in particular), I'm sure, brings an element of calm to her hectic schedule. The garden really lent itself to having a Japanese area, already having a large weeping willow and also a very beautiful hornbeam tree (which was being choked with other planting when I first saw the garden). The willow not only frames the teahouse beautifully, but when its long skirts are in full leaf in summer, creates a natural curtain, making the teahouse feel even more hidden away in the corner. The garden already has a natural woodland feel, and this cool, calm green really ties in well with Japanese gardens, where green is the main colour and nothing should be too stimulating.

The client wanted to create the feel of a stream, but without any actual water. So we designed a dry stream bed, edged with large rocks arranged in groups according to Japanese principles. The stream appears to flow through the garden and in front of the teahouse, where a timber bridge enables you to cross over. A traditional 'roji' path with granite stepping stones offers a number of circulation routes around this part of the garden. The teahouse is beautifully constructed, and was made and installed by Jade Pavilions. It looks fabulous in that setting.

The planting includes bamboo, rhododendrons, azaleas, hydrangeas, ferns, and of course a number of Japanese maples. It is a very restful place to just sit and be.
Lots more photos at Liz's site here.
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