The Grapevine Garden in Surbiton

The Brief  The brief called for a generous terrace for entertaining, along with a large lawn and interesting borders with year-round appeal. The only plant to be retained was the wonderful grapevine. An area at the far end of the site was to be left for the eventual addition of a home office, and the feel here should be informal and slightly ‘wild’ to evoke a meadow. 

The Design The design includes a bespoke pergola to support the vine which will now be trained over the living room doors. A sandstone terrace includes a circular detail to break up the large area of paving, and a built-in seat and large raised planters add interest near the house. The end of the garden has been left to accommodate a future garden office alongside the shed, and has a different feel with two apple trees and natural meadow planting. A mixture of evergreen and flowering shrubs ensures there is always something appealing. The red stems of Dogwood and Acer brighten up dull winter days, hellebores and masses of bulbs herald spring, and late flowering perennials such as Rudbeckias, Japanese anenomes and Verbena bonariensis last into the autumn. Eventually the trees will screen the neighbouring building, and the mature plants will soften the appearance of the fences.