When I first visited this garden, it was virtually a blank canvas. Previous owners of the house had installed a good-sized deck for outdoor dining, and my clients had added a substantial playhouse in the far corner, but otherwise the garden was laid to lawn.
The brief was two-fold: to provide somewhere for the clients to enjoy the evening sun by extending a small paved area at the side of the garden; to add lots of plants to give the garden a lush feeling and blend it into the mature woodland backdrop beyond the boundary.
Although the existing deck and paving were rectangular, the clients liked the idea of circles and curves, which worked well with the contours of the ground.
The existing paving was extended in a curve along the side boundary, creating a large seating area for evening dining. A planted bed separates this seating area from the main lawn, which was re-shaped to resemble a leaf. Beyond the lawn, a planted bed on a gentle slope leads to an upper lawn which sweeps round a woodland bed and leads to a gate into the woods beyond. Between the upper lawn and the play area a second small patio allows the clients to enjoy the very last of the evening sun.
The planting is a mix of shrubs, perennials and grasses providing foliage and flower colour right through the year. In the beds surrounding the lawn are shrubs including Hydrangea, Physocarpus, Euonymus alatus and Hebe. Feature shrubs include Amelanchier and Hamamelis. The woodland border includes a number of existing small trees, underplanted with perennials including Hellebores, Liriope muscari and Persicaria. In front of the play structure are a number of tall grasses and perennials that will provide summer colour and create a great hiding place for kids!
Photos by Claire Cox Photography