Sloping Town Garden, approximately 20m x 11m
Analysis and Problems
Little usable, level space and no entertaining/dining area. One retaining wall situated too close to the back door, making the space feel pinched and unwelcoming, with narrow concrete steps leading to a slippery grass slope. Few plants of any note apart from a very beautiful, mature holly tree. Plenty of sun on the higher areas of the garden but nowhere to sit so it can be enjoyed. Charming, small, brick and tiled building that was once the privy.
We demolished the wall and constructed another a metre further back. This created not only a new sunny, paved area for al fresco eating, surrounded by colourful planting, but also a charming shady corner at a lower level for ferns, hostas and acers.
We added two sets of wide steps and another retaining wall, thus creating the third level of the garden. Here, a rectangular lawn gives simple, uncluttered space leading to a small vegetable garden delineated by espaliered pear trees and fruit bushes, partly enclosed by low box hedges. This is a particularly lovely spot to sit and enjoy an early morning coffee, as it catches the first rays of the sun.
The open areas of the garden are framed with herbaceous borders designed to provide high colour in summer, with architectural seed heads and silhouettes through the winter. Hellebores and snowdrops do particularly well in this garden and are the first to flower in early February.
The holly tree was neatly clipped and is the main focal point of the garden. Hung with bird feeders, it attracts long-tailed tits, sparrows and the resident robins and wrens, all protected from any cruising sparrow hawks, by the holly canopy.