sgd finalist 2022

Ashtead – Japanese Garden

About This Project

This meticulously crafted, Japanese inspired design, evocative of a serene and peaceful tea garden, has utterly transformed the bottom area of this garden. The clients envisioned a Japanese-inspired retreat at the end of their garden, in a slightly neglected corner.

An existing garden building, nestled under towering conifers and doubling as both an office space and a retreat, needed to be seamlessly woven into the design.

To bring their vision to life, we introduced elements of a traditional tea garden – stepping stones, tsukubai, waiting bench, and of course, rocks. The result is a peaceful, meditative sanctuary where they can connect with nature and each other.

The beautifully crafted curved oak bench is an integral part of this exquisite design, offering an enticing invitation to relax and unwind. It provides a perfect spot for engaging in intimate conversations amidst the soothing ambience.

The stepping stone pathway invites to enter the space, and was skilfully laid using locally sourced and hand selected stones which has an appealing mellow texture and tone, adding an authentic element and charm to the garden.

The diagonal pattern binds the space together and provides a rhythm to the space. The rocks serve as grounding elements, anchoring the garden’s design, and creating a tangible connection to nature.

Traditional tsukubai with kneeling stones is an integral part of the garden, providing a focal point enhancing the serene ambience of the place. It adds an enchanting touch that elevates the overall aesthetic of this outdoor haven.

A minimalist approach has been adopted when it comes to the planting, allowing the plants to develop, flourish and mature with time. The central focal point is a Japanese acer, a testament to Japanese garden aesthetics. The evolving beauty of the plants exudes a sense of patience and grace.

This captivating garden is a testament to the transformative power of thoughtful design, proving that even the smallest of spaces can become a place of peace and beauty.

Our customer was delighted with the results

“We have valued working with Joanna on the design, development and completion of our Japanese (Zen) inspired Garden Project at our home in Ashtead in Surrey. Though relatively small in size, it has been a been a challenging and complex project – which is now completed and we are very happy and satisfied with.. Right from the start, we realised that this was an unusual project. It required much collaboration and discussion on all aspects, including:

1) arriving at a viable cost efficient concept and bringing together different skills and abilities / expertise needed to deliver it
2) having the time and energy to explore and seek out the right materials, plants and ways of bringing it all together
3) managing resources and input to stay within the budget that we had available.

We have had to discover and learn together as we have gone along. Joanna has been engaged and responsive throughout. In addition to creating the concept and discussing and adapting that with us, she has brought her knowledge of plant, connections with skilled landscapers and willingness to research and visit suppliers to the project. We have valued her designer input and involvement, her enthusiasm and energy, her availability for input and consultation – and her time keeping and attention to key project steps throughout. We would certainly recommend her to others considering a similar project and prepared to work in an engaged and collaborative manner.”

If you would like to find out more about our garden design process or would like to discuss a new garden project please contact us for more information.


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