Stone outdoor kitchen table overlooking lawns landscaping design

By Abi Amor

A Dream Garden with HollandGreen Landscapes

Creating an outdoor living experience through the challenges of recent times stands out as HollandGreen Landscape Designer Carol Edwards’ favourite and most memorable design project to date.

Nestled in a rural Oxfordshire village, the initial brief to transform this garden was simple: create an outdoor entertaining area for friends and family to enjoy all year round.

Yet the high level of specification for each area has led the resulting outdoor living experience to become not only the garden of their dreams but mine too.

It has been a joy to transform the original unused sloping lawn into a series of garden rooms that link seamlessly to the next, creating a unique outdoor space that is now enjoyed day and night.

Al fresco dining and entertaining was at the heart of the brief and the new open plan cooking space is fitted with a wood burning pizza oven, gas BBQ, sink and mini fridge, while a 12-seater bar table provides a central hub to chat and enjoy a meal in the fresh air.

The outdoor kitchen functions as part of the wider garden space, flowing into a luxury pergola with a sunken hot tub hidden below a cleverly sliding timber deck. A floating bench provides a comfortable space to relax beside the hot tub, while two changing rooms with a spa-style shower are easily accessed on either side.

To address the great British weather, we covered this multi-functional space with a rotating slatted pergola roof that provides heat, light, shade and shelter throughout the year.

The sleek and simple lines of this area hide the complexities involved in bringing these elements together to fit flush with the surrounding terrace.  To see it come together after months of careful planning was a huge highlight of the project.

A gravel space with Corten steel water bowl provides a link to a cosy lounge area with a contemporary gas fire table providing an intimate atmosphere throughout the year. In turn this section overlooks the scented borders and entrance to a leafy woodland area at the foot of the lawn.

Luxury outdoor al fresco dining space

Ambient lighting injects a magical atmosphere at night, with the planting and garden features creating beautiful accents that cohesively link each space. Silver-grey granite paving and low mounding foliage keeps the terrace feeling soft and light, while warm tones from the grasses and long flowering Asltroemeria complement the beautiful Iroko wood of the kitchen.

All the lighting and powered elements in this garden are individually and conveniently controlled on tablet or mobile phone. Ensuring this ‘Smart’ garden had sufficient power, water, gas and wi-fi took a huge amount of detailed planning and coordination and has been a truly memorable build.

Green garden wall pergola
Luxury hot tub pergola
Beautiful landscaped lawns garden design

The design process started just before the first lockdown and required close collaboration between the HollandGreen design team, our client and suppliers, in particular our Landscape Contractor and Lighting Designer who were with us for the whole journey through the pandemic, and with all the challenges this brought.

This dream garden has been in constant use since we handed it over in June this year. With the woodland development phase still underway, it has been a privilege to see first-hand the pleasure it brings every day as it continues to develop and mature.