Gardening Blog: Creating a useable family garden in Hampstead from scratch

Useable family garden by Kate Gould, Hampstead NW3

Useable family garden by Kate Gould, Hampstead NW3 - Credit: Archant

Kate Gould is an award winning garden designer with more than a decade’s hands-on experience transforming gardens of all sizes and a regular exhibitor at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show where she has been awarded three Gold medals.

A complete renovation was undertaken on this property in Hampstead NW3, which was taken back to a shell including the garden, which was considered an important part of the renovation process, to turn the property into a useable family home.

As with many modern renovations, floor to ceiling glass panels feature prominently in the new scheme. These seamlessly link the inside to outside and so the garden had to work hard to provide an interesting and attractive backdrop to the ground floor living space all year round.

The original garden had some mature planting which was in most cases very much past its prime; ancient Hebe with only a light fluff of foliage on the extremities of its stems, dense ivy on all of the fences and a backdrop of neighbouring conifers.

The Hebe and Ivy were removed and the dark green conifer backdrop was highlighted with a swing seat by Myburgh Designs which is polished stainless steel and illuminates a dark and difficult corner.

With a living space that has enviable double aspect windows there was a chance to create a small courtyard space into which a vertical green wall was installed.

This has a direct link with the house and provides a ‘green wall hanging’ with splashes of seasonal colour under the canopy of an old Eriobotrya which survived the complicated renovation work and now forms an umbrella over the courtyard making it a really intimate space.

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The main garden is more classic in feel than uber contemporary and is used for entertaining as well as for play and is truly a family space.

A row of pleached elms, multi stem silver birch and herbaceous perennials all add interest at different times of the year to ensure that no matter what the weather or season has in store that the garden always has something of interest.