This small garden slopes down from the client’s house, giving the downhill neighbours a clear view into the garden from their first floor windows. The clients felt as though they were living in a goldfish bowl and wanted greater privacy. The first design priority was to screen these neighbours so groves of birches, chosen for their slender form and dappled canopy, were planted at strategic spots around the garden.
The clients were keen to grow their own fruit and vegetables in the garden. Vegetable gardens are often hidden away from the house, and out of sight can mean out of mind. The vegetable beds for this garden were built adjacent to the terrace, within easy reach of the kitchen. The clients enjoy seeing their productive, well-ordered kitchen garden as they sit on the terrace and a handful of herbs is never far away.
An oak pergola leads down from the terrace to the wildlife pond whose gently, sloping banks ensure easy access for frogs, newts and other wildlife. The pond is edged with pebbles and a few large boulders create informal seats to observe the pond life. Within weeks of filling the pond was buzzing with wildlife. Pollinator friendly flowering plants were chosen and the clients have been delighted at the increased numbers of bees and butterflies in the garden. More birds are also now visiting the garden, so the air is filled with birdsong.
A second oak pergola leads from the end of the pond to the lower half of the garden. The two pergolas, planted with roses and clematis, help screen the neighbours and create focal points within the garden. A bench located at the bottom of the garden is a quite spot for contemplation. The bench is below the eye line of anyone sitting on the terrace so feels secluded and distant from the house. An existing arbour in the corner of the garden was retained to provide a shady, sheltered spot or a hot summer’s day. Opposite the arbour a third pergola leads to the garage.
The clients were so pleased with the front garden they asked us to design their front garden a year later.