Project Description

Before

Before

As you can see from the ‘before’ images provided our clients had no usable garden to begin with. They wanted a low maintenance garden with a hard standing area close to the house, a shed for storage and lawn area’s.

With this information we set about creating a simple design to accommodate these basic requirements.  Placing a shed in the garden was our first task and with limited choice for its position,  decided on the back left hand corner. Its very important when placing a shed that its not too close to the boundaries, always leaving enough room to get behind should you need to weed or maintain the shed itself. All too often we find a garden building with an enormous tree growing up behind simply because it cannot be reached which can cause problems in the future. Another important issue is to make sure the shed is on a firm base, in this case concrete. We prefer and recommend constructing garden buildings on a cast base as roots from nearby trees and ground movement can cause other types of base to move which is detrimental to the structure.

The second item to consider was the paved and lawn area’s. Its important to get the balance right between these two fundamental features. A common design issue when building paved/seating area’s is that they are not big enough to use and enjoy comfortably. Give yourself plenty of room when planning outdoor seating to ensure its practical and a joy to use. We decided on a natural sandstone here which is curently excellent value for money and fairly easy to install.

During

During

It is important when deciding on the size of your lawn that it is in proportion to the rest of the garden. Large lawns with small beds can make the space feel baron and the surrounding planting ‘squeezed’ in. Think about area’s of the lawn you will actually use and give up some space for planting. We decided on a natural shaped lawn with gentle curves allowing roughly a third of the space to surrounding planting. Consider astro-turf if your lawn is small.

In order to achieve a low maintenance result we installed a geo-textile membrane over the bare soil throughout the garden. We topped this with pea shingle, a common and inexpensive aggregate to brighten up the borders and this helps keep everything in place. Planting can then be undertaken by simply moving the single to one side and cutting the membrane to fit. Another aspect to creating a low maintenance garden is with the choice of planting. We passed this task on to another team in this case however if you are to do this yourself make sure you read the labels carefully before purchasing. There is usually enough information on plant labels to help make better choices. Avoid climbing plants, plants that spread or grow tall and stick to plants that grow in clumps. Anything that grows up and dies down each year are also good such as herbaceous perennials and bulbs. Remember low maintenance does not mean no maintenance!

After

Other items in this design include a raised trellis screen on the left side of the garden. This provides some privacy from the neighbouring garden without taking up unnecessary room and gives the opportunity to grow climbing plants in the future. We also planted bamboo at the back left hand corner. This was block out the overlooking flats at the back and provides a nice backdrop to the seating in front. Using bamboo can cause problems if not planted correctly as it can spread vigorously. We decided to plant in a raised bed which maximised the overall height stop it from spreading anywhere else! If you are planting in the ground make sure you either plant with its pot of wrap with a proprietary root barrier.

After

Our clients were very pleased with the outcome here, they have young children and can now use the garden with ease.