PHOTOS CREDITS: Laura Parsons & Elzelina Van Melle
EVM Landskab developed the planting design of a classic small and shaded private garden in Frederiksberg’s urban surroundings together with landscape architect Laura Parsons, who were responsible for the overall landscape design.
The project had a potential to test Nigel Dunnett’s concept of “high impact – low input” naturalistic plantings within the setting of a Danish family home. Improving biodiversity and improving health through green spaces can also be a focus for such a garden project as many people experience contact to nature in their private realm. The clients wished to be able to enjoy more the outdoor space of a newly bought house, as a small oasis filled with plants. Having no gardening skills they wanted also to keep maintenance very low.
The garden is naturally divided into a front and back garden, where the front receives good morning sun and has a more open grass plain simple feel. There is little design intervention here, other than to introduce more flowering bulbs, a new raised planting bed while improving grass quality.
The back garden receives afternoon sun but is enclosed on almost all four sides so is a very shaded space. For this reason we have been inspired to design with plant communities that are naturally adapted to more shaded microclimates. Our overall concept is to design with a base of species most adapted to a woodland ecosystem. A mix of ferns and ground cover form a base for a mix of flowering perennials to take over at different points in the year.
The design aim at creating as much space for plantings as possible, pictorial views from the terraces and immersive experience from the back garden sitting area.
The mineral situation of a high wall on one side becomes lush packed with climbers and the pavement loosens in contact with the planting beds to create a naturalistic impression of plant growth over the built parts.
The plants composition is thought of as much a possible in layers, making a gradient from pavement (low/creeping/ruderal) to wall (tall/filling/climbing/stable) with taller structuring or mass creating perennials in the middle. Space is created by a full range of exciting seasonal changes thanks to the use of mainly perennials and bulbs in high density to keep the management low after the client wish.
Open boxes with rusted steel edges keep a small sitting square with gravel enclosed, and create a feeling of terrain variation and gradation from the wood terrace to the back garden.