You may remember that I wrote recently about designing a long, narrow town garden, well their neighbours liked it and asked me to design theirs too.
Although it was roughly the same shape and size, the clients had more traditional tastes so it needed quite a different approach.
They had lived in the house for a long time and really enjoy gardening, but over the years the garden had evolved without a proper plan and they just weren’t enjoying it anymore…. it had all become a bit of a chore.
We discussed what they wanted, their budget, likes and dislikes and I got lots of clues about their personal taste from their house. Eventually we narrowed it down to this:
- They needed to keep a trellis barrier near the house to contain their cute, but energetic dogs.
- Somewhere pleasant to sit near the house, and plants that would suit the conditions in this part of the garden as they’d struggled to grow plants here.
- A lawn was a must.
- To have a water in some form or other.
- Screening so they could have some privacy, especially in seating areas.
A Concept Plan was produced, a few things were tweaked, and the master-plan was drawn-up:
Gardens need a good, solid lay-out, think of it as the bones of the garden, then whatever the time of year this structure will always be there holding everything together.
With this in mind, the path through the garden was off-set, rather than straight-through from one end to the other, and the garden was divided into three distinct areas:
- The levels were sorted out near the house and grass removed because it’s too shady and tiny areas of lawn aren’t worth bothering with
A patio was built with enough room for a table and a couple of chairs. The height of the trellis dividing this area was lowered, so you don’t feel completely cut off from the rest of the garden. A shallow pool was built, the dogs like this and when they’re not around, it encourages birds into the garden.
Plants that like shade such as Hydrangea, Hosta, Pulmonaria, Hellebores were used and small spring flowering bulbs planted, so there’s always something nice to see from the house.
- The middle section has a lawn with a practical stepping stone path through it, and there’s a bench. Plants will eventually partially screen this section from the end of the garden. Notice the compost bins tucked away? We included plenty of soil improver in the new borders and this will be maintained with home-made compost for healthy plants.
- There’s a chunky, timber pergola at the sunny end of the garden with plenty of room for a large table and chairs. A raised brick pool has a small, single fountain and edging that can be perched on.
The choice of lawn and trellis, with small only small areas of paving for seating, made sure the garden was kept in budget.
Isn’t it interesting how gardens of similar shape and size can look so different, each design has to be unique because we’re all different.
What really matters is ending with a garden that suits the individual so they can really connect with it and enjoy using it, don’t you think?
all images: Jill Anderson