James Dobson – Modern Garden Transformation

James Dobson – Modern Garden Transformation

Bringing the ‘inside’ outside is a common theme in modern garden design. This has never been more evident than in 2020. With travel restricted, the need for a comfortable and social outside space has become very important. Our customer, Gardens by James Dobson provided just this, in the form of a complete garden transformation for their clients.

Based in Worcester, Gardens by James Dobson provide a tailored service to their clients, ensuring that each garden is personal to them.

The Brief

The brief was for a modern, social garden with no lawn and a bit of wow factor! The outside space did currently include a hot tub so that needed to be incorporated into the modern garden design. However the client’s current outside area was mostly grass and weeds so they needed a total garden transformation.

The Design

The design evolved due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When holidays were cancelled, the budget for the garden increased. This allowed for the stunning central water feature and high end premium products.

The idea was to bring the indoors outside, and so the garden was divided into 4 rooms comprising of 4 social areas, the hot tub, and a floating bench behind the hot tub screen that is a quiet and contemplative space. Additionally a large 3 x 3m seating area for dining along with a lounge area located under the pergola.

Raised borders help divide the area into the rooms and also add another dimension to this modern garden. Furthermore with the loss of the lawn, the borders are used to contain the planting.

The Products

The water feature was installed as a main focal point with the stunning water blade flowing into the rill. Grey Porcelain tiles were chosen to edge the water feature and also to break up the seating areas. The colours blend perfectly with other tones throughout the garden.

Walnut Porcelain Paving planks are used within the space as they match a very similar tile in the kitchen. This was also another way of bringing the inside outside.

Water feature with Scottish pebbles
Water Feature

The split faced porcelain tiles were also used due to their colour tones, as they complement other materials in the garden including our Scottish Pebbles. They also provide an attractive contrast within the project.

The clients wanted a clean garden, so no bare soil. Therefore our Scottish Pebbles 20-30mm are used to decorate around the planting in the raised beds. Additionally our smaller Scottish Pebbles 8-14mm are used in between the paving slabs. The colour tones of the pebbles work in perfect harmony with those of the split faced porcelain tiles.

The pergola was made from oak posts that were burnt to give a rich colour and provide a great contrast to the light tones of the porcelain. 

The furniture was selected in different shades of grey to complement the grey horizontal batten fences surrounding the garden, which bring the whole modern garden project together.

Grey garden furniture
Garden Furniture

All the lighting was carried out by the client who is handily an electrical engineer by trade.

The Challenges

The main challenge was moving the hot tub. As it was an expensive item they were worried about causing damage. However, usefully James from Gardens by James Dobson has previous experience as a print process mover. Therefore drawing from this knowledge, he came up with a plan to move it on timber skates. The only problem with this plan was they had already built the retaining border walls which limited their opening to just 50mm either side. Luckily they managed to re-locate it successfully.

There was also only limited access to the garden, this was through the garage and up a step which did slow the project down.

In total this beautiful, modern garden project took around 5 weeks to complete. Watch a video of this incredible transformation below.

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