Planting defines different garden spaces but allows glimpses through to the next 'room'
The stream emerges from beneath the decking bridge and spills into the small pebble pool
Trees and shrubs screen the fences and neighbouring houses
The garden on completion
Two years on in early winter
Five years on in summer the deck nestles beautifully into the landscape
We were asked to create a garden design to provide for all the family’s needs – lawn space for children’s play, a pleasant area for adults to sit and relax, generous planting with trees for seclusion and a safe water feature.
Our clients sometimes regard a sloping site as undesirable as they can be impractical but they also provide opportunities. In this case we used it to good advantage. We created an upper level garden area which we retained at one end by a robust sleeper wall. At the other end we re-graded the bank and ran a stream through it to a shallow pebble pool and then built a stepped decking feature. This linked a lower level patio with the upper level and offered a second outdoor sitting space amongst lushly planted shrub beds.
For the family’s functional needs a clothes drying area, bark surfaced play space and summerhouse style shed were accommodated at one end of the garden away from the main garden views and sitting areas. The awkward garden shape was softened by planting and two informal lawns linked via a timber arch. Large growing shrubs and trees were included to provide privacy and conceal the huge expanse of tall fencing. Of particular note is an ornamental cherry (Prunus serrula) with a tactile shining chestnut coloured bark.
Challenges in this project revolved around the poor clay loam with even heavier clay subsoil. In order to alter the ground levels it was necessary to strip the topsoil, stockpile it, re-grade the clay subsoil then re-spread the topsoil again. We then added soil improvers to the planting areas. Not an arduous operation with the use of a mechanical digger and dumper but a lot of unseen work unapparent in the finished garden and crucial to ensure that the lawn and plantings would thrive rather than just survive.