Japanese Aesthetic Garden, Yorkshire

This design is for a front and back garden of a terraced house on the steep south slope of the Calder valley with good views north from the front of the house. The back of the house is south facing backing on to a field which plateaus then rises steeply to a plantation of evergreen trees on its crest.

The client had some ideas for the front garden involving a Yin Yang symbol, they requested a storage/potting shed be added in the back garden along with a bench under an arching Ribes sanguineum in the back right corner. Both gardens are to be relatively low maintenance.

The front garden design began with the idea of Yin Yang or IN YO, research revealed its close ties with Feng Shui, this informed the design.

Placing of materials and colour around the garden follows Feng Shui principles to bring harmony and balance. The garden also reflects the surrounding landscape, rocks represent geological features and steel represents the Calder flowing through the valley.

Planting is largely evergreen, mat or clump forming species to spread quickly shading out weed growth with slow growing shrubs. All the planting is for part or full shade.

The concepts suggest the back garden be terraced over four levels. This allows a lower number of steps between terraces and conformity to best practice with risers of between 150-175mm it also retains access out of the back of the garden into the field behind the house. Concept 1 creates two seating areas; a curved path leads through low maintenance planting then steps up onto a third level to a seating area requested by the client. The seat on the second level means users can stop and sit near a trough water feature. Concept 2 uses the second level as an entertainment space with a table and benches and sufficient space for a barbecue. The water feature is built into the third level creating more room in the entertainment space. It also creates a walkway on the third level defining the seating area and pergola. Concept 3 offers two areas for entertaining. A more intimate space on the second level for a small table and chairs and a larger covered space on the third level with room for a table with benches. The pergola on the third level will support evergreen and deciduous flowering and fragrant climbing plants.

Design Process