This garden was a stereotypical 1970’s garden; a square lawn, some random hedge planting and dated concrete paving leading to a shed and an ill-conceived formal paved square patio area. The object was to modernise it and create a more user-friendly garden space while keeping in mind that minimal maintenance was an essential requirement.
The client had just recently retired and was keen to put the garden into a condition that would not over burden them to maintain. They also had a dog and the existing garden which was largely grass, was in poor condition due to the dog and impossible to maintain in any sort of a sustainable manner. For this reason, they stated that they no longer wanted a lawn area. They largely wanted to cover their garden in paving to minimise maintenance but also with planted areas and to retain as much of the existing planting as possible. Access was still required to the existing shed which was to be retained. Finally, to give the garden some additional interest they were keen to have a water feature although one that would not require a huge amount of maintenance. They also requested garden lighting. The client was also a keen recycler of garden and food waste from the house and to achieve this they require that a space be provided for their existing compost bins, but if possible out of sight.
Given that this garden space was not to have a lawn area and planting area where not to be over burdensome to maintain, a substantial reliance was going to have to be place on the use of hard landscaping. Rather than overly paving the area, use was made of beach pebble as a decorative alternative while still providing ample space for sitting out or entertaining with a circular Indian yellow limestone patio and a second area adjacent to the house. An informal path of staggered limestone slabs provided less visually intrusive access to the shed. Stainless steel ground lights were fitted into the patio and an obelisk style water feature provided an attractive focal point. The compost bins were place behind the boiler house and were not visible from the house. The main planting border was raised, about 250mm from ground level and constructed with ‘drystone’ quartz walling. There was another ground level border and some planting randomly planted through the pebble area. The planting largely consisted of small to moderately sized flowering perennials that would be easily maintained and a large clematis montana spanning across the back boundary was retained for privacy and maturity.