The existing garden
This was a medium sized plot, but long and rising uphill from the house. The house was owned by a couple, and their overall use of the garden was low, but they were keen on an attractive, and easy to maintain garden, with a mixture of ornamental planting, but with sympathy to the overall wooded and natural environment of the area.
The existing garden was laid to lawn, on a continuous slope, and with very little planting otherwise. It was dominated by a large Oak tree, protected under a T.P.O. (Tree Preservation Order). The tree was magnificent, but obviously presented some challenges in terms of shade, leaves and roots - it would take a large amount of water from the ground in summer. The subsoil and topsoil were heavy, with overall poor surface drainage
The new garden
Near the house, the ground was excavated for the sunken terrace that extended into the garden, and the retaining walls constructed in brick to match the house. Paving was in a York stone, as were the steps to the lower lawn level.
The soft area of the garden was divided in two lengthways, with two oval lawns linked with some soft sleeper steps at a point where the garden was to be gradually terraced.
A small summerhouse and workshop was requested, together with a small
deck and pergola. The summerhouse was constructed on posts, to lift it from the damp soil conditions at the end of the garden. Soil was moved from the end of the garden to level it for the summerhouse, and spread at the centre, thereby increasing the depth half way up, and allowing for better planting conditions, this also helped reduce the rear half slope.
With the planting, the lower lawn and sunken terrace had a more ornamental mixed planting style, and the upper lawn and around the summerhouse was planted with a more native and less ornamental mix of trees shrubs and perennials.