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Colour in The Garden

In most urban environments we see a limited range of 'colours'. We use the term colour loosely because black and various shades of grey are not strictly colours. Concrete, tarmac, council paving, steel and glass are the predominant materials in our town and city environments. This is more extreme in the cities, where so many people live. The characterisitics of these materials are cold, hard, rough or smooth, dull or reflective, unforgiving, static, permanent; the opposite of most organic materials. These characterisitics are not noticed by most people on a daily basis. Instead they become accustomed to them and do not realise the subliminal effect they have on our stress levels and general health. This is one of the reasons that this garden wowed everyone who came to view the property when it was sold. All the visitors to the house and our clients remarked on the warm, welcoming and stimulating effect the colours of the garden had on them. The only drawback was that when you re entered the street environment you were starkly aware of its palour. You can see the contrast of the gardens' colours with the neighbouring properties 'greyscapes' in the photo below.

The Numbing Effect of Grey.

This photo shows the contrast between an RGC exotic colour scheme and the standard garden style seen in 90% of English gardens. We are not just refering to the 'Jamaican Gold' walls (Dulux name for this colour), but also the large quantity of evergreen foliage plants and their architectural shapes in proportion to the overall size of the garden making a difference too.

This photo was taken just after the garden was completed so the plants will become much larger and give the garden an even lusher feel. When you enter this town house property from the street you can see straight through the house to the garden, as the back wall of the ground floor consists almost completely of sliding glass doors. This effectively makes the garden part of the living room and the effect of the colour scheme apparent as soon as you walk through the front door.

The Backbone Supports All.

The paving in the garden also has a range of subtle colour variation which does not compete or clash with the walls. The sandstone chosen here has its own range of colours that occur naturally. The purple/pink/and sandy colours are a subtly cooling counterpoint to the hot gold colour and the variation from slab to slab contrasts with the block of uniform colour and texture on the render. The pattern is laid in a geometric form that is oriented around the central axis of the garden giving a 'backbone' structure to the planting composition and seating areas. The repeated dome and semi circle shapes make 2 seating areas of different sizes and the central path has a branch leading to a 3rd seat, which will be hidden from the house and most of the garden when the plants mature around it. The geometry of this layout allows us to fit 3 different seating areas into a garden that is only 5 x 10m (15 x 30').

A Splash of Colour

A touch of colour added to any design can vastly improve the space by making it appear more inviting and welcoming. As seen in the image above this garden appears to have a Mediterranean feel to it, complimented by the rustic decking and benches. Whereas in the image below the garden has a contemporary feel about it.

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