The brief was to transform the sloping garden into a modern and usable space to compliment their new home which was located within a Conservation area. My clients were particularly keen to harvest rainwater from the house so that it could be used to water the garden. During construction new drainage pipes were installed to collect water run off and were piped into underground storage tanks on the lower level of the garden.
The main part of the garden sloped down to one of the boundaries and the brief was to create flat usable areas which were to incorporate a lawn, a second large paved seating area, a water feature, laburnum pergola walk, screen the fencing and an area large enough to erect a garden building to house an endless swimming spa with decked area in front.
The top patio immediately outside the back of the house was relaid and provided a large space for dining next to the kitchen and sun room with an additional area for a soft tub next to the house.
Stepped retaining walls, stone steps and planting pockets for the box hedging ‘steps’ were constructed.
The garden was divided into two flat areas. To divide these areas the design incorporated gabion retaining walls topped with steel and glass balustrades looking over the lower level. The two area were linked with wide stone steps.
Permission was obtained to remove two large conifers and a number of small trees in the lower area. A Lawful Development Certificate was also obtained for a timber building to be built on the lower level to house the endless swimming spa. Once built, a light oak effect Millboard composite decked area was built to provide additional space in front of the swimming cabin for sun loungers.
To the side of the swimming cabin this lower, shadier area of the garden, which was neglected and unused became the ‘woodland garden’. The floor of this area was laid with oak railway sleepers as a staggered pathway with a number of planting pockets into which blue geraniums, white astrantia, white echinaceas and ferns were planted en masse to create a contemporary ‘woodland’ area beneath the existing tree canopy.
The clients’ brief also requested a water feature, a laburnum pergola walk, low maintenance planting to include flowering shrubs, grasses and wisteria.
Laburnum trees have been planted to each side down the pergola and will eventually form a laburnum tunnel. The rounded top of the Agriframe pergola together with the box balls reflect the shape of the Foras water feature which is stepped back into the planted border on the left hand side midway along the path. The swimming spa is at the lower level accessed via wide stone steps at the end of the path.
The pergola structure, together with the deep planting border running along the length of the long, fenced boundary will help to soften the appearance of the fence. A beech hedge has been planted along this boundary which will be clipped and will help screen the fence even in the winter.