City Twitcher’s Garden

3 min read

diy sos

In 2015 we supplied some sedum for The RHS Silver Gilt winning City Twitcher’s Garden. The garden was sponsored by Living Landscapes, designed by CouCou Design and exhibited at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2015.

So, whilst planted with bird-friendly plants and shrubs this garden is a twist on a standard wildlife garden. Whilst encouraging birds and wildlife it still maintains the contemporary feel of a modern city garden.

Positioned in a small 6.5 x 6.1 metre plot, this design illustrated how an urban garden could be bird-friendly without compromising on style.

Providing food and a home for birds is becoming increasingly important in the urban environment. This little garden offers both.

So the “City Twitcher’s Garden” design incorporated a patio area to eat and entertain in and a raised bed to grow organic herbs. There was also a woven willow bird hide and a small tree to hang bird feeders. The back fence also featured bird boxes and insect houses.

Then, a hedge, water rill and pond provide shelter, habitat and water for the wildlife, and add to the overall look of the design.

Finally, a Chamomile and sedum lawn complete the design, to encourage birds and wildlife into the garden.

The willow hide and raised bed were hand made by sculptor Carole Beavis (

city twichers garden

The Design Team –

The RHS award-winning garden design team Sarah Keyser and Sam North launched CouCou Design as a consultancy practice in 2013.

After more than ten years as in the fashion industry and motivated by the exciting opportunities of her first garden, Sarah decided to study the subject she loves the most, horticulture. She has since completed the RHS General and Advanced qualifications in horticulture, followed by Garden Design at Warwickshire College.

Sarah prides herself on her friendly and sensitive approach to clients needs. Her designs are perfectly suited to complement your home, lifestyle and practical requirements.

Sam has over ten years of experience in the construction industry. His survey and technical skills are an integral part of the design process for CouCou Design. Surveys are undertaken using specialist equipment to create accurate topographical plans, ensuring any new design fits perfectly into your garden.

They produce 3D visuals and animations to complement traditional hand-drawn and CAD drawings where required. The addition of 3D drawings can greatly improve the design process, creating a clear vision and bringing the design to life.

Based in Oxfordshire, they  are positioned to design gardens from North London to Warwickshire.

They have designed spaces ranging from small city courtyards to sensory school gardens.

First Impressions

When I first saw the garden, the snug dimensions of the globe wicker structure puzzled me. Then… I realised it was a bird hide, woven by willow sculptor Carole Beavis. I must have been experiencing sensory overload at the time. (Hampton Court can be like that). You would have thought the bird houses on the walls, the log pile to attract insects and the wildlife-friendly flowers might have been a clue that this is an urban bird watchers’ garden. Even the cushion covers inside the hide have birds on them!”

In the City Twitcher’s Garden, circles are a motif throughout. They transform the small, angular plot into something much more organic. You can see the circular paved areas, the sphere-shaped hide and the rounded pool from the pictures. Out of shot, the garden hardscaping also included a circular rill, a patio area and a semi-circular raised bed (take a look at the plan and find out more on the Living Landscapes website).

I love a chamomile lawn for its scent and feathery texture. This one was mixed with sedum which I would have thought might have been a little delicate, but I suppose a Hampton Court Garden doesn’t see much footfall.

The flowers in the largely white planting scheme continued the theme. Globe shaped alliums and round lily pads, the almost circular roses, campanulas, and the weighty hydrangeas but it was the linear white foxgloves snaking around under the tree that drew my eye”



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