This very small patio in Kensington is typical of many London houses; just under 20m2, it is the main view nonetheless for for the 3 reception rooms of the house (kitchen / dining room / family room). Space being a premium, it was important to keep it simple but make it as enjoyable as possible.
To maximise the surface, the paving level is now flush with the adjacent rooms and the planting is vertical. Two full sides of the patio are now covered with many evergreen ferns, shrubs, perennials and bulbs which provide year long interest and rich textural effect. We used natural limestone throughout for the paving, to complement the internal flooring but added a small line of polished black pebbles to provide a delicate contrast with the cream tones of the limestone and echo the the dark grey of the slate slab of the water feature.
The flow of the water feature can be adjusted, from a discreet and soothing sound to a more distracting one.
Previously the roof around the skylight was made of dull grey asphalt. This we covered with maintenance free Sedum, which is evergreen, except in the summer when it continuously blooms pink, burgundy and lime green.
The garden lighting creates a dramatic effect at night.