Garden near the sea

A garden near the sea

for outdoor dining, Dunmore East

Garden design brief

The design for this coastal garden in Dunmore East is for a new extensive patio area to the rear of the house incorporating both a seated area around a fire pit and a separate outdoor cooking area.

The existing deck area had begun to deteriorate in quality and was not offering enough in terms of functional use or aesthetic pleasure.  Thus, the client asked us to come up with a design for a new patio area that would offer a variety of experiences, whilst being presented within a unified design appearance. We proposed that creating different levels for the spaces would add a lot more character and interest whilst providing shelter from the coastal winds that were battering the garden also.  The planting design would have to include plants tolerant of the coastal conditions, whilst also being of relatively low maintenance as requested by the client.  The other key aspect was retaining the views towards the sea, in particular the view of the Hook head lighthouse, which is openly visible from the back of the house.

The spaces have been reduced in scale by adding dividing planters, low walls and planting at ground level to both sides of the patio.  Around the perimeter, the design incorporates planters to create the feeling of enclosure to the rear of the provided seats, whilst retaining the views out.

We decided that low level lighting was most appropriate for this design and included strip lighting for many of the most used steps, wall lights to some planters and tree uplighters to the specimen trees.  Other lighting in the form of storm lantern candles was then added by the client to create the moods and effects that she wants on different occasions.

The planting focuses on plants that grow well in the mild coastal weather around Ireland but that are resilient to the strong winter winds.  The colour palette including primarily greys, blues and whites with some pops of colour.  Climbers were added to the timber pillars that support the roof overhang to soften these down and to add floral interest and scent.

Overall, the garden design attempts to provide a beautiful and characterful outdoor recreation area for our clients.  The client is extremely pleased with the result and has used all parts of the design for sitting out in, dining and cooking since completion in 2021.

coastal garden design, exterior living, firepit, Garden kitchen, garden rooms, Garden views, home and garden, low maintenance planting, natural paving, Outdoor cooking, outdoor dining, outdoor lighting, Planting design, Steps and levels