in Ranelagh, Dublin
The design for this compact front garden to a red-brick period property in Ranelagh, Dublin revolves around an existing specimen Magnolia whose beautiful shape adds a lot of character to the garden and softens the scale of the property. The existing non-descript concrete paving was updated with granite flags laid in a modern linear pattern and complemented with soft gravel to create a walkway around the garden.
The planting was laid out with rectilinear box hedging framing each new planting bed and this not only provides character but also gives cohesiveness to the design and contrasts with the soft perennial planting within the beds.
Alongside the Magnolia, other feature trees used in the design include a wine-coloured smokebush and a Japanese Maple.
The client requested that some feature or character be added to the design so that it was not just planting. They wanted to look at an interesting scene on arrival and from the windows looking out of the house. I decided to include a small seat to make sense of the space and we also agreed to use some modern looking pots to add interest to the design. These were selected in a striking black colour to contrast with the red brickwork and to complement the colour of the railings at the front of the garden. There is a slight slope up to the front door and this meant that we had to include some steps and kerbing in the garden but all of this adds character as well.
With a new Bay Laurel hedge providing screening down the side of the garden the owners have not only an attractive front garden but an edible one too! Herbs have been planted in the beds to provide further culinary options in addition to the Bay.