Tropical Sanctuary

Design and build by: Creative Landscape Co., the Big Plant Nursery, Wargrave Rd, Berkshire.


Creative Landscape Company’s Garden Design and Build team were invited to transform the back garden of this beautiful town house in Berkshire. With roots in Malaysia and a love of Malaysian style gardens, our clients wanted to swap their boring lawn for a fully planted garden that would evoke a tropical atmosphere and provide seclusion from neighbouring buildings.

The garden design challenge

The design challenge was to create an intriguing yet practical journey through the long narrow garden linking entertaining decks at each end. Plant selection was key as the clients were happy to include some tender plants for effect but the brief was to create the desired atmosphere and privacy using mainly hardy tropical style plants.

Narrow access into the garden over a basement roof presented a logistical challenge for the garden construction. Elements included:

  • Porcelain tiles
  • Natural limestone path
  • Light oxford gravel areas
  • Water feature
  • Garden lighting
  • Garden irrigation
  • Deck rejuvenation

The planting of some beautifully mature plants for instant effect softened the hard landscaping and transformed the space. Multi-stemmed Photinia, the Indian Bean tree Catalpa bignonioides and evergreen Magnolia grandiflora trees were used to add drama and height and a collection of various bamboo further increased the privacy in this overlooked garden.

The resulting full planting scheme presents a different and pleasing view at every turn. The planting is interspersed with the gravel areas to give the illusion of space and intrigue as you journey through the garden.

The APL Awards (Association of Professional Landscapers) recognise the very best in landscaping undertaken by APL members in projects that range from smaller projects to large garden design and build and garden maintenance contracts. The awards are a celebration of the high standards that have been achieved by members and a demonstration of the APL’s commitment to quality landscaping.

Client’s comments

“The garden looks fantastic. The alliums are out and the irises are just coming out. We are very proud of it!“