Front and rear garden of a Mid-Victorian Villa in East London, Hackney, E8
This double fronted house located in the Graham Road and Mapledene Conservation Area in Hackney, features both a front and rear garden designed for a young family.
Four Rowan trees (Sorbus aucuparia 'Shearwater Seedling'), two of which were pre-existing define the outer boundary of the front garden, which is not a space simply to be passed through, but a garden in its own right. A Victorian quarry tile mosaic path to the front door is bounded by two generous plant beds of grasses, scented perennials and culinary herbs which celebrate and enjoy the south facing aspect. A mature Amelanchier lamarkii multi-stem tree brings spring blossom and autumn colour while also offering a layer of green privacy to the family living room window.
The rear garden opens up into a wide plot which has been split into sections, not just aesthetically but with functionality also in mind. Stepping down in the garden from a raised terrace, a riven York-stone path moves through the garden, which incorporates a timber frame lean-to greenhouse and a cedar pergola, defining the dining area. Raised oak frame vegetable beds and a hidden sandpit accompany the greenhouse, creating an area for practical gardening and play, while bespoke furniture by David Blair Ross, Harbor designs provide opportunities for relaxing within the garden.
A key feature of the rear garden planting is a multi-stem ornamental cherry tree (Prunus 'Tai-Haku') set within the lawn, offering multiple seasons of interest and some privacy to the dining area from the neighbouring houses. There is also a row of fan-trained edible cherry trees and a plum tree which offer fruit for the owners and wildlife, whoever gets there first. Softening the paths and the junctions between hard landscaping and lawn are a series of plant beds characterised by billowing grasses, ferns and umbellifers and highlighted by soft coloured perennials such as Thalictrum delavayi, Bistorta amplexicaulis 'Rosea' and Sanguisorba 'Tanna'.
Photos by Rachel Warne