A Garden with a View

Embracing a view is a challenge we relish in. Ensuring the garden is beautiful in its own right without competing with the view is crucial to a successful design. In the case of this large garden in Althorne, Essex, the design called for a simplified layout to help acheive that.

Fantastic views of the esturary beyond the garden were to remain the ultimate focal point. Additionally, the client was keen to modernise the look of the garden also. Keeping to geometric shapes and clean lines is an important design detail when aiming for a contemporary garden design.

When there's a great view, a simple garden is all that's needed.

When we first saw the garden, there were several mixed shrub borders immediately in front of the house as well as some small trees. The trees were blocking the views from the house and the remaining planting was not creating a cool, contemporary look that the client was keen on.


There were several features to work around in this Essex garden; a large pool house, a summer house, a pergola, several palms and a beautiful pine tree.

Furthermore, there was no alignment between the centre of the house and garden. The garden centre was strengthened by the presence of a set of gates at the far end. A solution to see both elements working better together was required.


Our design created an avenue of trees down one side of the garden using a sculpture at the end. The avenue was in line with the existing pergola which immediately gave the client a focal point when enjoying this area. Additionally, the avenue affected the perceived width of the garden. This helped to bring the house and garden in better alignment with one another.

A dark corner with a pergola was opened up and lighting now makes it a cosy and inviting space


Previously the main seating area had been to one side of the house and adjacent to the pergola. It meant that there was a lot of furniture congregating in one area. We opened up the area in front of the house to provide space for a more casual seating area. Never be afraid to be bold with the proportion of hard landscaping! Small areas for seating are not only awkward and uncomfortable but add to the fussiness and detract from a clean finish. A formal pond in front of the seating area created another focal point but without diminishing from that all important view.

We also opened up the pergola area with additional paving in front of it. The pergola sits next to the rear of the garage in a north facing garden; using a light paving and extending the paving to increase its ability to reflect light really changed the feel of the space. It transformed it from a dark area to a much lighter and more inviting space.


Previously, there had been a gravel path running alongside the back of the house. Wherever possible, we always aim to include planting right up to the house; it really helps the house to sit more harmoniously with the landscape as well as softening the views of the house when looking back towards it.

Wherever possible, we always aim to include planting right up to the house; it really helps the house to sit more harmoniously with the landscape

We used the same trick with the pool house. Previously this was adjacent to the lawn but now, thanks to a small border, the pool house sits into the garden with a sense of belonging.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas on how to approach your garden overhaul but if you're still struggling then do get in touch!