19 Feb 2010
Colour sets the tone for a landscape garden at Oaks Hamlet
For Simon and Tina Mahoney their new landscape garden adjoining their luxury, modern home at Environ Communities’ Oaks Hamlet contemporary homes development in Kings Hill, Kent is a direct extension of their living room. Determined to make use of all the space available in the landscape garden, the Mahoney’s asked Environ Communities’ landscape garden designer, Julie Johnson, to create an eclectic terraced landscape garden that genuinely forms an extension to their modern home, themed around a mature olive tree and, unusually, with colours to match the deck chairs.
Simon Mahoney set a challenge for Julie, an expert landscape gardener, from the start. “I explained that I wanted it centred around an olive tree and then bought one. It is 80 years old and takes pride of place in a raised bed. From inside the our contemporary home, it is beautifully framed by the garden window to the sitting room - and with the hidden lighting we can enjoy its shape all year round. Julie was great though, she can visualise instantly what we are trying to achieve to complement our luxury home and then comes up with ideas to create the landscape garden we have always dreamed of.”
Tina Mahoney adds: “One of the important things for me is the colour. We have some striking garden chairs that act as a draw to the eye and to be honest this led the whole design of the landscape garden. We therefore asked Julie Johnson to work with a matching colour theme, based on warm colours such as warm, deep reds and purples to create a vibrant landscape garden for us. She did this wonderfully with purple slate planters and a vivid red Acer, which of course is lovely in the winter as well, so that we don’t lose all our colours in the landscape garden as the season changes. We also have a grapevine to remind us of our vineyard in France and passion flower. These touches make our home unique.”
Moving from a large, family home in nearby Platt, when the children left home, the Mahoneys decided to buy a large, contemporary home in France together with a smaller more manageable unique home at Oaks Hamlet. Simon Mahoney says: “Low maintenance was essential. By buying a well built, modern home from Environ and designing a low maintenance landscape garden, we are making sure that when we return from France we won’t be overwhelmed by the jobs that need doing and can enjoy lifestyle living. All the beds have netting to suppress the weeds and we have such a small lawn that we even used artificial grass!
“Our oak decking in the landscape garden is delightful and our carpenter spent hours making sure that each screw hole was beautifully plugged in line with the grain. We have used our new terrace for parties all the year round and have invited members of the community over. The hidden lighting for the olive tree, the beds and the vine gives a delightful ambience. We even used it when we had a party on Christmas Eve.
“One of the innovative ideas within the landscape garden was to use honeysuckle around the bin store, which helps to keep everything more fragrant.”
Tina Mahoney adds: “Moving to our luxury home in Oaks Hamlet has been one of the best decisions we have ever taken. The modern home, landscape garden, lifestyle living and surrounding community are exactly what we were looking for, and our neighbours have become friends for life.”
Prices at Oaks Hamlet start at £375,000 for a two-bedroom, luxury ‘Manor’ apartment and extend up to £995,000 for a five-bedroom ‘Sandhurst’ family home with a detached studio. More information about the lifestyle homes for sale at Oaks Hamlet is available by calling 01732 848316 or by visiting www.oakshamlet.com.