Our brief was to create an exciting low maintenance garden for the enjoyment of a family with two small children.
Beneath a protected horse chestnut the woodland area at the bottom of the garden was transformed from an overgrown weedy waste ground into a shady sylvan play area complete with a slide, swings, log pile, and play house. Utilitarian features such as a storage shed and a compost heap are also hidden away in this area. The ground is covered in a thick layer of bark chip providing a weed smothering mulch and a soft strata for the children.
Upon the edge of the play area, obscured by forest pansies (Cersis chinensis ‘Avondale’) a chunky woodland style covered pergola is both an ideal outdoor dining area and vantage point from which to survey the garden and to keep an eye on the children. Ferns and Hellebores surround this hexagonal structure which has eye catching red blinds for protection from the sun and wind.
The family are keen to grow their own vegetables and so three large raised beds were included in the plan which have already yielded strawberries, chard, and lettuce, much to the enjoyment of the children. Also in this box bordered vegetable garden soft fruit has been trained along the fence line, fruit trees have been planted and culinary herbs grace the surrounding beds.
Five mature Scot’s pines have been retained, carefully pruned and now provide an interesting line of sight along the hedge line towards the house. The lawn which was once uneven and shapeless curves gracefully towards the 1930s property that now sits within a landscape worthy of its architecture. Two large planting beds sit between the house and lawn behind which hardwood sleeper retaining walls contain a traditional lavender hedge of white flowering Lavandula angustifolia ‘Edelweiss.’ During the summer this border was covered in bees and butterflies.
The clients planting brief required colourful, child friendly, low maintenance soft landscaping with year – round interest. The planting list below was chosen especially with these things in mind.