Front Garden, Portobello

This small garden lies to the front of a terraced house located on a busy road in Portobello. Originally, the garden consisted of a tiled path from the gate to the front door, a lawn with circular flower bed, and planted beds to the perimeter. The clients were keen cyclists but had nowhere to store their bikes other than taking them through the house to a shed in the back garden.  Additionally, the wheelie bins had to be kept on the tiled path, further compromising access.

The brief therefore was to redesign the garden to provide secure bike storage as well as finding somewhere better for the bins. The clients rarely used the existing lawn and were fed up with having to bring the lawnmower through the house, so they agreed to it being removed altogether.

I added a shrub border in front of the low boundary wall to provide some screening from the street beyond, with a small tree as a focal point.  I included a timber cycle store that nestles between the shrubs and the side boundary; a green roof helps the store blend into the planting. Adjacent to the path, I incorporated a new paved area to create a hardstanding for the bins.  Shrub screening hides the  view of this from the house.  Outside the bay window and near the front door beds of mixed perennials provide seasonal interest and colour. I also added a low fence with climbing plants to screen the pathway from the garden next door.  This ties in with climbers on the house wall adjacent to the front door. The main pathway and central area of the garden are paved providing easy cycle access to the bike store.  I selected  permeable paving so as not to cause problems with water run-off.  The result is that from the doorstep the eye is drawn on a diagonal, across the paved area, to the feature tree in the opposite corner.  This draws focus away from both the bin area and cycle store.