A Narrow, Sloping Garden




This garden presented a number of design problems. It was long, narrow and steeply sloping. Over the years, the shrub borders had encroached into the space, leaving just a narrow corridor of usable space. There was a large apple tree outside the back door that dominated and shaded the garden. The end of the garden was completely overgrown and housed the concrete base of a demolished garage. Instead of being a restorative and uplifting space, the garden had become oppressive and uninviting, and the client’s primary interaction with the garden consisted of mowing the steeply sloped and effectively useless lawn.

I split the garden into four separate tiers, with each individual space being either a square or a wide rectangle. The effect of this was to broaden the space, and to prevent the entire garden being visible from the back door. The four rising levels of the garden were constructed using horizontally-laid timber sleepers. The levels were then connected by means of paved steps, which led the viewer on a much more interesting journey through the space.

Each of the garden ‘rooms’ had a different character: a sunny, sandstone breakfast terrace with large potted bamboos; a peaceful seating area, surrounded with borders with lime-green Euphorbias and violet-blue Geraniums; a gravel garden with grasses, Iris and Sedum, and, eventually, a raised ‘stage’ zone at the top with delicate Amelanchier trees and a small pergola.




Before and After Images

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