In my October 2014 blog I talked about a design I had done for a client with a small enclosed garden. Last week I was invited back to see how it was progressing and spent a lovely afternoon chatting with Val, the owner, drinking tea and soaking up some sunshine. It really makes my job worthwhile to visit a client and see them enjoying their new garden. The garden was only planted last summer but is already beginning to fill out and mature. The climbers are doing very well and beginning to create the desired sense of enclosure around the bench. Last October the water feature felt very prominent and exposed but this summer is surrounded by a climbing rose, just as we wanted.
I recently spent an enjoyable morning visiting one of my clients who had finished implementing my design for their small enclosed garden.
Although enthusiastic gardeners, they were struggling with how to make the best of their new outside space, having always had larger gardens before recently downsizing. Their priority was a design which would give them somewhere to sit and entertain and a planting scheme which was pretty, colourful and scented. As the garden is the main view from their lovely conservatory they wanted year round interest which was also low maintenance.
The first step was to create a sense of privacy and enclosure achieved by adding trellis to the existing boundaries and painting all the woodwork to match in a fresh modern colour. After discussion my clients decided to leave the walls unpainted and although I feel this would have helped unify the boundaries, once the climbers mature the walls will become less dominant. Using light colours for the hard landscaping has increased the sense of space whilst a mix of gravel and paving provides changes in texture and interest. With gravel mulching the planting areas the boundaries between hard and soft landscaping are blurred and the area feels larger.
A pretty bench sits on paving surrounded by planting with a simple water feature providing a focal point and gentle background noise. Evergreen planting is combined with a few choice perennials to help add seasonal interest. Herbs including lavender and rosemary provide texture and scent and creeping thyme will release a lovely scent as you walk through the garden. An informal layout softens the hard landscaping and as the planting matures will feel generous whilst still enabling easy movement around the garden.
My clients decided they would like to source the plants themselves and enjoyed visiting some of the smaller local nurseries in the process. Ideally the conifers flanking the gate would be taller and my clients laughed that these provided a lesson in the dangers of ordering plants over the internet when they arrived much smaller than expected.
Removing the old paving, relaying hardcore for the new landscaping and creating dedicated planting pockets was hard work but I am so pleased that my clients followed my advice and didn’t take any shortcuts. This should ensure that their plants grow well and reduce weed growth.
It was lovely to hear how much more they now enjoy being in their new garden. They have done a wonderful job implementing the design and we were all very pleased with the results.
The raspberry muffins were lovely too…