Greek Island Garden

What was requested
The “garden” was a small area behind a terraced house in south London. It had an outhouse, a rickety extension, and was only partially paved. The client asked for a low-cost “improvement”, but did not seem to favour a particular style or treatment. However, when I asked the client (of Greek extraction) to describe his dream landscape, he said it was a Greek island, and when I showed him photos of sun-drenched white walls, and blue mosaic-lined pools, he laughed and said he’d like all that.

Click any of the thumbnails below to see 'before', 'during' and 'after' pictures of this garden.

How it was achieved
Firstly came the destruction of the outhouse and extension, and the enlargement of a space for a new kitchen window. Next, the existing paving slabs were matched, so the paved area could be extended to meet the existing raised beds. Then, the rear brick boundary wall was prepared and rendered, as were the existing raised beds. Once the render was dry, it was time for white-washing the rear wall and raised beds, (and the wooden garden table and chairs), followed by applying bright blue paint to the wooden fences on each side of the garden. The client asked that the mirrors (which had been fixed to his rear wall) be retained, so we surrounded these with cobalt blue glass mosaic tiles. Finally, we removed fifty percent of the depleted soil in the beds, added grit and enriched soil, and then planted an olive tree, palms and tropical-looking plants such as agapanthus, crocosmia, daylilies, and unusual glaucous euphorbias, all of which retain their leaves throughout the winter.

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