The challenge in this coastal garden was to work with a somewhat dated, Italian-style, brick based sunken garden and updating it into a practical space for entertaining and enjoying the amazing sea views.
The client had lots of requirements to be fitted into the space, including a boathouse, water harvesting system and an outdoor kitchen. As an entertainment space, they wanted adequate lighting and speakers built in, as well as an irrigation system to keep the whole space as low maintenance as possible.
To transform this garden, we used a series of interconnecting circular decks to provide a variety of seating and entertaining areas. The sunken deck was designed with built in seating, an outdoor kitchen, a COR-TEN weathered steel and vertical planting feature wall, and the COR-TEN laser panel – a bespoke piece individually designed for this client. Other editions included a Buxus hedge and seasonal planting surrounding the deck, to incorporate colour and style to the overall look.
Two large connecting decks were also added, which included areas for entertaining and enjoying the view as well as a small, cosy deck area accessible via large boulder stepping stones, a sun deck, and a handmade bench tucked into a mix of grasses and rusted steel bulrushes.
The planting was to be a bold collection of structural tropical style plants mixed with grasses and an abundance of Agapanthus. Planting adjacent to the ornamental pool would be lower growing perennials that would blend to form a carpet of colour without distracting from the view. The lawn level was edged with a curving wave of grasses and blue/green perennials that drift and sway in the wind.
Work in Progress
This project was a huge transformation to the space — as can be seen from these images! It took several months to complete with the team working throughout the winter, in some pretty treacherous conditions at times.
We raised the main sunken garden so that it was high enough for our clients to enjoy the view, but low enough to still benefit from some shelter. With the vertical surfaces being clad in cedar and a Millboard deck throughout, this whole space is low maintenance. We also installed the outdoor kitchen in this area alongside some bespoke COR-TEN steel panels and vertical planting walls. These panels helped to soften the view back to the house, and also serve as access panels for all the main controls for the garden (e.g. irrigation, water harvesting, lighting etc. as well as offering additional hidden storage).
The lowest level of the garden leads directly onto the harbour and features a hidden boathouse with wood burner, drying racks for wet weather gear and storage for paddleboards and kayaks. It also has a seating area, outdoor shower and sink for gutting the catch of the day! This lower area has been clad in old scaffold boards, which will weather beautifully and withstand the elements. Tough salt resistant plants fill the raised beds, adding another element of stunning, yet sturdy, décor.
Bespoke COR-TEN steel planters filled with deep blue Agapanthus, carefully chosen sculptural pieces and atmospheric lighting, feature throughout the garden, bringing a cool, coastal feel to the whole look.
The End Result
We created a stylish and extremely functional garden that really makes the most of the incredible waterfront location and stunning sea views. Now the owners can make the most of their amazing location, and thrive off of the many benefits of their now amplified outdoor living space.
Meet The Landscapers: Dorset Design Build
Dorset Design Build are the designers and makers of truly inspiring landscaping, the likes of which give homeowners a completely new found love for their gardens. With over 20 years experience, and an exacting eye for detail their team of talented builders bring their matchless designs (or indeed the designs of others) to life, using the finest quality materials and construction-minded technique. So, whether you’re looking for a remodelled hedgerow or a full renovation, get in-touch and find out what they could do for you.
For more information contact Dorset Design Build on:
t. 01202 981669