Paula takes ideas from observing architecture, art, nature, and interior design but enjoys simple, modern, timeless design the best. Her aim is to create gardens that fit seamlessly with the house and landscape and are contemporary, unique and beautiful.
With a background in client service and project management in investment banking, she has a good understanding of working with clients and budgets.
She achieved an RHS gold medal for ’The Lavender Garden’ at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
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Paula Napper Garden Design was established to help clients achieve a garden which is viewed as an extension of the home, and which can be enjoyed throughout the year as a relaxing, beautiful living space.
The aim of every project is to create a beautiful garden where quality materials and textural planting compliment and enhance the house. A consideration to the flow of space and how it works with the building can create interesting views and make the most of every inch. Paula loves to explore innovative ideas and materials to bring a design element that is unique to each client.
Fifteen years in investment banking as an executive director and managing teams in London, Frankfurt & India has given Paula the experience to deal effectively with the needs of clients and manage design-and-build projects.
The clients, an architect and an interior designer, wanted a space in which to relax, entertain and play the occasional game of Bocce. Views out to the Chesham Bois was a main consideration for the new garden. The clients both like Modernist architecture and have plans to update the house so the inspiration for the garden design was the principles of the Modernist movement, and a sculpture by the mid-century metal artist Ernesto Riva.
The brief was to create a shared courtyard which two separate families enjoy..
As an admirer of modernist architecture I chose to create two houses with simple lines which both overlook a natural swimming pond. As the central feature of the garden it creates a physical barrier but still allows the length of the space to be enjoyed from both sides. The pond has straight lines but bends to emulate the lines of a river: the water is kept clear with natural filtration including aquatic plants in a gravel bed. A deck with privacy screen overhangs the pool for sunbathing and both houses have private terraces which enjoy views over the pool. The rectilinear design of the garden takes its inspiration from the houses and uses principles from the modernist era, exploring the abstract and using raw materials of concrete and timber. Raised beds are rendered white and the planting is minimalist with architectural species..
The Firefighters Charity has commissioned me to create a sensory garden and therapy spaces at Harcombe House in Devon, a centre for physical and mental rehabilitation.
The roof terrace is the first stage in providing space for therapy and relaxation and will be built later this year.
Using patient research as a starting point with input from therapists, gardeners and the management team, the space will be a peaceful refuge outdoors for the firemen and women suffering physical and mental trauma.
Offering intimate space for mindfulness and isolation, it will also be an area for occasional social gatherings.
Planting has been selected for texture, sound and scent. Calming evergreens provide year round structure and privacy, with copper coloured flowering perennials echoing the colour of the house.
A feature wall showcases a sculpture that acts as a reminder of the important and heroic work done by the Firefighters.
The Firefighters Charity rehabilitation centre in Devon sits in 300 acres of rural countryside. The charity understands the benefits of engaging with nature and commissioned me to create a sensory garden in the grounds in which therapy could take place.
In response to their brief I have created a master plan which incorporates opportunities for both passive and active engagement with horticulture, mindfulness, exercise, relaxation and therapy space.
The following images show a concept for an enclosed garden with water feature and seating for socialising and group therapy.