Edinburgh garden design

asian fusion courtyard

An Asian inspired garden in Edinburgh's New Town. Transforming an overlooked, overgrown space with lush, jungle planting, corten water troughs and places to sit and enjoy the tranquility.

Following a decision to return to Scotland after several years living, working and travelling in various parts of South East Asia we were invited by Helen Lucas Architects to work with their clients to redesign their garden as part of the refurbishment of their Edinburgh flat.
Joining us via zoom from their lushly planted poolside in Singapore we were asked to create an Asian inspired garden which is not a copy of one particular place but which would remind them of their time abroad and compliment the clean contemporary design elements of their home.

The garden was a blank, if overgrown and neglected, canvas when we arrived.
We set about creating a raised patio close to the house so that the outdoor space felt connected to the interior. We selected a porcelain wood effect plank paving to echo the wood flooring in the kitchen. A darker porcelain edging pattern defines the patio as a distinct space separate from the adjoining path and steps.

The patio is large enough for socialising and catches the afternoon sun.
A linear pergola provides soft screening from the neighbouring garden and is planted with climbing roses and Holboellia, a beautiful climbing plant with scented pink flowers..

Two bubbling rusted corten steel water troughs sit below the raised patio. They are surrounded by bright Hakonechloa grasses and textural planting and are lit by submerged lighting.
The troughs are overlooked by a low plinth topped with a curved bowl containing in Japanese maple.

Steps lead down from the patio through lush planting to a small Japanese style covered pergola positioned to catch the morning sun. We took the concept of the nobedan path, a traditional Japanese teahouse path made from large and small stones and reinterpreted it using intersecting porcelain planks and paddle stone.
A close knit trellis was chosen to fit the aesthetic.

A palette of plants was selected that have the look and feel of tropical plants but which will survive in the colder wetter winters of a Scottish garden. A jungle feel was achieved by selecting a mix of foliage plants such as Fatsia japonica, Calycanthus 'Aphrodite' and bamboos that bring texture and colour as well as a leafy feel.
We took advantage of the heat trap a city offers and including some special, more tender plants such as Dicksonia antarctica tree ferns and Schefflera rhododendrifolia.