The existing garden consisted almost entirely of poorly laid sandstone paving with almost no planting in an ‘L’ shaped corner border. A very small area of artificial lawn existed but had sunk and was holding water. The side passage was in roughly poured concrete.
Primary concern for the client was to future proof the garden for reduced mobility. The client is in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and as a priority the garden needed to be at one level with no trip hazards. In relation to this the exit from the patio door needed to be wheelchair accessible. Maximizing the amount of useable space for large family gathering (20+) was also specified including a paved area and an artificial lawn. Although the client has reduced motor skills, he is a keen gardener and would still like to have planting borders that he would be able to maintain without overly stretching or possibly from a seated or wheelchair position. An elevated planting area of a suitable height might be a feasible solution. The shed and a storage box are to be retained and incorporated into the design. The side passage is likely to be used for wheelchair access in the future and was requested to be resurfaced. No specific planting requirements were given other than to keep the overall planting height to a minimum level to aid with maintenance requirements.
The existing paving was to be entirely replaced. Indian limestone was chosen, given its more uniform surface finish and its less porous nature, it would be easier to keep clean and less lightly to cause a trip hazard. A ramp was to be created at the entrance to the patio doors. A semi-circular raised planting area was to be created approximately 45cm high which would allow for easier maintenance of the planting and would also double as seating. A small planting border would also be incorporated into the patio area at ground level. The wall of the raised border would be clad with limestone and capped with granite. An elliptical shaped lawn area utilising artificial turf would be placed adjacent to the patio area and abutting the raised planted area. In all cases steps were to be avoided including the entrance to the repositioned shed.