Muswell Hill Garden

A steep, sloping site is transformed with layers of cascading plants and Corten steel

Theatrical view of the garden from the tall sliding doors of the house kitchen, enticing you out to explore.
Theatrical view of the garden from the tall sliding doors of the house kitchen, enticing you out to explore.
Stage 1

The Brief

The existing garden layout was very unwelcoming, with a lot of overgrown shrubs and dense foliage that resembled a long dark tunnel. The clients really wanted the space to work more practically for them as a family, and to encourage the children to venture and explore outdoors.

Stage 2

Design and Build

Due to the steep slope the design and build involved some major excavation to allow a bigger patio space that was in balance with the house. It was also important that there was a gentle meandering journey up through the garden, allowing places to stop and pause, to entice you towards the upper lawn and a new woodland area where there is an outdoor studio, play area and gym.

Overview of the garden that reveals how the design layout represents an elegant but also functional solution to interconnect a garden set on a steep slope in Muswell Hill.
Overview of the garden that reveals how the design layout represents an elegant but also functional solution to interconnect a garden set on a steep slope in Muswell Hill.
The patio is enclosed by a retaining wall in poured concrete and corten; an existing Acer overhangs the space casting dappled shade, with the vibrant pink Rhododendrons stealing the show.
The patio is enclosed by a retaining wall  in poured concrete and corten; an existing Acer overhangs the space casting dappled shade, with the vibrant pink Rhododendrons stealing the show.
Stage 3

Finished Project

The slope itself acts as a wonderful stage set to showcase the garden. The poured concrete retaining walls, hardwood timber and Corten steel all weather very naturally, which combined with the soft, undulating rhythm and repetition of the planting, has resulted in a soothing and restful composition.

The clients are out in the garden everyday come rain or shine, enjoying the space. They have been a complete joy to work with, embracing every aspect of a challenging build, and the results that can be reaped.

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The poured concrete steps that lead to the garden merge with the cantilevered hardwood bench along the retaining wall, shadow gap details create a light feel to the structure.
The gentle palette of plants in this Muswell Hill garden spill over the gravel paths and corten risers  softening the straight lines.
The purple blue flower spikes of Salvia caradonna pick up the hues of the existing rhododendrons. The hardwood deck has softened in colour , providing a striking contrast with the corten.
A quiet seating spot on the hardwood decking area between the steps partially concealed by planting.
The majestic existing acer in the background creates a wonderful parasol over the patio, with the foreground planting providing textural, seasonal interest.
Dwarf pines, Persicaria, Iris and grasses create a harmonious planting scheme.
The herbaceous borders spill over the gravel softening the straight lines and enclosing you in a secret seating area of this Muswell Hill garden.
Perscicaria bistorta superba and Iris Perrys Blue contrast against the burnt orange- red of the corten steel, softening the straight lines.
The herbaceous borders spill over the gravel softening the straight lines. The vertical trunks of Betula Zwisters Gloire, punctuate the background and merge the boundaries.
The staggered corten risers create a gentle meandering journey through layers of cascading plants, up to the rear woodland in Muswell Hill.
The grey limestone chippings blend tonally with the blues of the Iris. The herbaceous borders spill over the gravel softening the straight lines.
Planting details in this Muswell Hill garden, showing the lush green palette.
This overview of the Muswell Hill garden reveals the staggered layout of steps and paths through the steeply sloping garden.
Rhythm and repetition in the planting of this Muswell Hill garden, punctuate the sloped borders, enveloping you in a cloak of greens, purples, pinks and blues.
Overview of the Muswell Hill garden that reveals how the design layout represents an elegant but also functional solution to interconnect a garden on a very steep slope.
Magnificent Betula ermanii ‘Holland’, Euphorbia, Dryopteris ferns and other shady underplanting located at the top of the slope, creating a woodland garden.
Full height view of the garden from the glass doors of the house kitchen, allowing tantalising glimpses through to the rear woodland, and upper deck area.
Stunning view of the patio with floating hardwood bench  from the indoor dining area. Plants cascade down the slope in the distance of this Muswell Hill garden.
Visual of the Muswell Hill garden created by LGD during the concept phase
The garden in Muswell Hill, showing the steep 7m slope and excavations required at the start of the build.
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Photos by Marianne Majerus