After some time away watering and tending to my seedling daughter, I am again designing, writing and back in my garden.

We have not rested an our laurels, however – we have continued to search out inspiration; we have completed several projects and we have spent a lot of time planning the future for Cat Howard studios.

A bee buzzes into a poppy

A bee buzzes into a poppy

We have been hard at work on this roof terrace for a wonderful large eco house in Holland Park. The house is a large, minimal new build and the owners are keen gardeners that wanted something beautiful to be in and look at from their bedroom window.

Currently the whole space is decked and pretty characterless, although it has some good London views and overlooks a working community garden space.

We wanted to make the space as green and secluded as possible, there are views through two large sliding glass doors out onto the terrace, one from the hallway and study area and one from the clients bedroom, so it is the first thing they see upon waking.

Particular attention was paid to the impact of the weight bearing of the building so Cat Howard worked alongside FORM Structural Design to achieve the most suitable solution. The paving was laid on a Caro support system and the planters were part filled with polystyrene blocks and then GT4 low bulk density soil to keep them within weight. The terrace also has a full irrigation system for the summer months and lighting which highlights the plants atmospherically, lengthening the use of the terrace on warm evenings and providing a beautiful night time view from the house.

Large deep planters line the edges and a single central planter defines the dining area from the seating area, and trees will provide lovely green screening from the neighbours but not block them out or cut the owners off from their community.

The ground is cut grey sandstone with strips of gravel in which Thyme and Chamomile will be planted and which will release scent when walked upon. In this way and others the planting plan pays particular attention to olfactory perception, something which was of utmost importance to the client.

The garden is now complete and awaiting spring for its first proper photoshoot.

A big thank you goes out to The Outdoor Room whose experienced team carried out the build on the roof terrace with great efficiency and to a quality finish.

The space as it was


Glass doors

View out to terrace

Work commences and the old terrace is taken apart

Work commences

The stone paving and the generous planters go in and planting commences


The Outdoor Room hard at work





Planting and the finishing touches

We will upload photos of the finished garden after it has had some time to establish this spring.

Here are the mood images and the planting plan

View from bedroom

View from top

Planting plan

What could be more perfect than to gaze upon this vision of loveliness?

The wonderful Lake Retba or Lac Rose lies north of the Cap Vert peninsula of Senegal, north east of Dakar. It is so named for its pink waters which are caused by Dunaliella salina in the water, a micro-algae hich manages to survive in the highly salted water. The color is particularly visible during the dry season.

We love it for its fairytale feel and we praise mother nature, as only she could have designed it in all its girly glory.

Designed by Tale Design these educational and practical notebooks come in various textured woody exteriors, made from FSC-certified wood and 30% recycled paper pulp. Choose from Oriental white oak, Pine, Ginkgo, Platanus, or White birch. The pages have the grain and knots of that particular tree species.

So beautiful we simply feel obliged to use them. Purchase them here.


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