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Thursday 7 March 2013

Dappled sunshine and citrus shades

This is a modern house in the country, and you can really feel the sunshine streaming into this space with its bright citrus shades and leafy patterns. The predominant colour is lime green, accompanied by an interesting mix of turquoise, pale blues, fresh greens and touches of pink. The hard lines of the architecture have been softened by the leaf print at the window - a reference to the trees outside, and the translucent checks in lime and turquoise filter the light and accentuate its sunny, dappled quality. But the geometry of the square-paned windows is too strong to be ignored - it has been picked up in the contemporary prints on the armchair, cushions and ottoman.

The satisfying geometry of neat lines of crops pleasures of picking and gathering for the table.

Shot from an upstairs window, the strong architectural design of the kitchen garden can be seen to full effect. There are four entrances, each with an arch entwined with clematis and wisteria, and intersecting paths divide the space into four principal squares. Within each square there are four further divisions, so the different vegetables and flowers arranged in neat blocks and rows are like pieces of a living patch quilt. Pink and mauve flowers are concentrated on the side nearest the house, where pots of pink pelargoniums line the steps up from the terrace. On the far side, nasturtiums in every shade from deep red through orange, deep ochre and lemon romp among the vegetables with picturesque abandon. Wonderful large cactus-flowered dahlias are grown in the garden, in stunning shades of deep crimson, scarlet, orange and pink.

In the heart of the garden

A walk around this leafy Summer garden presents you with a choice of many different places to sit, from the furniture on the terrace near the house to the picturesque old bench and chairs in the shade of the cherry trees. Dip under the leafy arch and you're in the kitchen garden, where another table and stools have been placed in the sun. Nothing is fixed here - a table might be carried into the orchard for a summer lunch, or a bench to catch the last rays of the sun one evening. Great fun can be had moving furniture about the garden and creating different scenarios - it's like picnicking with furniture.