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Garden design ideas #3: Jaques Larch Designs

Blog - 24/09/19

Jaques Larch Cabin Article 1

This time, we’ve asked garden designers Jay Larch and Darran Jaques from London-based Jaques Larch Designs for their view on how they’d tackle incorporating this log cabin garden room into the rest of a client’s garden space…  

“Our approach is always grounded in trying to make garden structures feel like a part of the surrounding space. This specific cabin has clean lines and large doors, which invite you to look out -but you need something to look out onto.

Conversely, it's important to make cabins feel nestled into their environment through well thought-out landscape design.

The first thing we would do? Change the access path. The stepping stones serve as an entry to the front door, but do little else, functionally or visually.

Instead, we’d create a wider path, to match that of the existing side terrace. In terms of function, this would create an easier and more generous access, even in inclement weather. In more favourable weather, this wider path could accommodate some impromptu seating.

Visually, the benefit is a continuing path that would draw the eye beyond the entry door, and out to the surrounding fields, creating a harmonious feel with the land.

Secondly, we’d remove large sections of lawn; turning these areas into planting beds. These beds will balance the scale of the structure, and larger entry path. As the cabin is situated to take advantage of field views, it’s important to blur these boundaries.

By pulling the eye outwards, the overall landscape feels much more spacious.

In terms of planting, a mix of small trees, anchor shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses would work to create the link between the natural field and proposed garden.

For a more natural look, we’d recommend choosing perennials with soft shapes that will blend together over the years.

To provide form, interest, and balance during the winter months, loosely lay out structural plants, such as low-growing Pittosporum tobira 'nana' in the garden.

To soften the cabin year-round plant a small tree or large shrub, such as Hammemalis 'Arnolds Promise', closer to the building.

It is important to include a few well-placed roses too. Choose a variety that is repeat flowering, with a good scent. Dot them around where you can - and appreciate their heady scent (but nothing too formal, please!)

Correctly chosen perennials will provide winter structure. For full four-season interest, use a selection of spring bulbs.

Finally, remember that often, nature doesn’t ‘behave’, so don't be scared to be a little bit daring with your colour schemes. Balance more pastel shades with richer, deeper colours, such as the pale creamy yellow of Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker), with the dark purple of Verbascum Violetta (Mullein)…”

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It's warm and it's cosy; it's solid and it's quiet. The fragrance of pine reminds you of Scandinavian forests and summer evenings. Your imagination starts to take you places. You imagine a wood burner, perhaps a desk or why not just some space to think?

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