Crafting a Mediterranean Retreat

East Dulwich


Scope of work

Landscaping and Maintenance


James from East Dulwich sought our expertise to turn his small garden into a slice of Italy, reminiscent of his favourite Mediterranean destination. He desired a garden that not only complemented his contemporary ground floor flat but also transported him to his cherished holiday memories. The primary challenge was transforming a space overrun with dandelions into a tranquil, Italian-inspired retreat.

Design and Implementation:

Our design strategy was twofold: to create a modern Mediterranean space and address the practical challenges of the site.

  1. Raised Flower Beds: Reflecting the contemporary style of James’ flat, we constructed raised flower beds at alternating heights. This not only brought an artistic dimension but also maximized the use of the limited space.
  2. Plant Selection: We chose plants like olive trees, lavender, and rosemary for their Mediterranean essence and their suitability to London’s climate.
  3. Eco-Friendly Approach: The garden was initially swamped with dandelions. As advocates of wildlife-friendly gardening, we meticulously dug them out by hand, avoiding harmful herbicides to protect soil health.


Overcoming Challenges: The project had unique challenges:

  • Shared Access: The Victorian house was divided into separate dwellings, necessitating shared garden access. We navigated this by modifying the existing low fence for privacy without hindering neighbourly access.
  • Privacy and Aesthetics: To increase privacy, we raised the fence height with cedar slats, choosing a dark charcoal stain to blend with the garden’s foliage. This also helped frame the view of a nearby old church bell tower, a key visual element from the garden.
  • View Management: The neighbours had access to an alleyway via a met-al staircase, overlooking James garden. We strategically placed large potted Trachycarpus palms to obstruct their view while preserving James’s view of the bell tower.


Final Transformation: The garden’s transformation was remarkable:

  • Layout: The white raised walled beds stepped up to a large square, housing the centrepiece olive tree, visible from James’ bedroom window.
  • Fencing: The back and side fences, enhanced with cedar slats, harmonised with the garden while adding privacy.
  • Plantings: Standard Bay trees and a fig were planted alongside the fence, contributing to the Mediterranean ambiance.
  • Seating Area: A grassy area was incorporated for James to relax and enjoy his personal oasis, surrounded by the charm of a Mediterranean garden.



This project showcases how thoughtful garden design can solve practical challenges while fulfilling a client’s dream. James’ East Dulwich garden, once a dandelion-filled patch, is now a peaceful, Mediterranean sanctuary, offering him a daily escape to his favourite Italian landscapes. It stands as a testament to the transformative power of garden design, creating a perfect blend of contemporary style and natural tranquillity





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