I've just been enjoying the Homes & Gardens feature on John Wilmot's north London garden (September issue, p.152-155), which was designed by Sara Jane Rothwell. Slate is used throughout the garden for footpaths and paved areas as well as for water features, uniting a wide range of textures and shapes within a subtle colour palette.

John Wilmot has got metal tables and chairs dotted throughout his garden, giving him many viewpoints from which to enjoy his garden as well as an abundance of seating for guests. The simple metal bistro-style furniture is compact and unobtrusive, allowing the beauty of the plants and hard landscape features to dominate. However, if it were my garden there is one thing I would do differently - I would use tables with natural slate tops. It might seem like overkill to some, but I like the idea of further unifying the textures of this fantastic garden!

Europa Leisure Granada table with Malaga chairs

The design of John Wilmot's garden uses circles and curves throughout the paved areas, these shapes being further reinforced by edging and circular central features such as the waterfall and tree gazebo. The gazebo area stands out as being made up of concentric circles, and I for one would like to see themes of slate and circles resolve in the central table. My fantasy is of something like the Granada slate table instead of the black metal bistro table which has been chosen.

If you want inspiration for your own garden, I recommend you visit Sara Jane Rothwell's garden design website and browse through her gallery of past projects. While some garden designers impose their own signature on every project, Sara Jane has mastered the art of creating gardens which reflect their owners' characters. The Homes & Gardens website is always worth a visit as well.