Henrietta Murray-Wicks Studio

Hampstead Ponds

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Completed in early summer 2019, a main feature of this small London garden is the central tapestry lawn. The clients were after a space that was very seasonal, full of flower and immersive. A pairing of one partner’s desire for an architectural feel to the overall garden and the other’s more natural, slight desire for wilderness was how the wildflower meadow become a central feature, yet was retained by a crisp framework of hard materials. The newly renovated house / extension had an overriding crisp and modern feel, using stacked Petersen bricks for the façade which we used as the basis for our material palette.  

The upper terrace is formed of English Yorkstone to create a space for a couple of lounge chairs to sit below the canopy of an umbrella shaped Amelanchier tree and be looking towards the ponds through the ever-changing wildflower lawn.  A clipped framework of a Hornbeam hedge that runs alongside the Yorkstone path, leads you to a lower more shaded gravel area, planted with a combination of different more shade and water loving plants. A gravel opening allows a couple of chairs to be positioned overlooking the water, and an option of a fire pit for warming cooler evenings.  

 The view from the inside of the house was key and the clients wished to feel that they could experience the British seasons. Amongst the wildflowers, scented, flowering shrubs are planted that are visible when the meadow is cut down, and provide a structural feel through the winter months. These bushy shrubs also help to create a feeling of privacy when inside.

This project architects were Michel Schranz - Design + Architecture.

Photography by Richard Bloom Photography.