The clients were keen gardeners, the planting scheme was to include interesting plants and the level of maintenance could be reasonably high. The garden was south east fencing so was very sunny and dry although the rear fence cast shade over the rear planting area for a large part of the day.
The garden benefited from a mature strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) but needed more small trees as being a terrace was overlooked from both sides. Two further small trees were selected; Amelanchier lamarkii for its spring white flowers and autumn colour and Acer griseum for its peeling red bark and autumn colour.
Grases and herbaceous perennials made up the bulk of the planting and care was taken not to choose plants that would seed themselves aggressively into the gravel surface. Plants included Echinacea ‘Kims Knee High’, Helechtotrichon sempervirens and Acanthus mollis.
The feel of the garden was to be that of an informal cottage garden. Plants were to billow and soften the hard edges of the terraces and the owners would walk through the planting to get to the shed and second terrace.
Finally the scheme was completed with climbers to soften the house and the walls of the garden. A fruit bearing vine was to be trained over the French doors and purple leaved vine and clematis grown together beside the rear terrace.
Once completed the clients were provided with an online plant list and maintenance schedule.
The garden build experienced no unforeseen problems and was blessed with mild dry weather so was completed in eight days with formal handover and signing off of the works on 17th December.
The new layout gives the illusion that the garden is much wider than it is; appearing square when viewed from the house and the pristine layout and immature plants gave the feel of a Zen Garden for this winter.
The new terrace adequately accommodates the client’s new table and chairs and the second terrace will allow the owners to catch the evening sunshine on their existing garden bench. In mid summer these seating areas will be surrounded and within soft pastel flowering plants, giving the garden a cosy and relaxed feel.
The owners were particularly pleased with the bespoke rear fence, constructed from rough sawn timber and based upon facades of contemporary ecohouses. The natural brown finish acting as a foil to the planting and giving the garden added depth.
I am now looking forward to seeing the garden in the summer when I do my courtesy visit to check all is well, as I know this garden will mature quickly to fulfil its potential as a precious city centre garden space.