Suburban Family

When the clients bought this property they were looking for a large garden for the children play in and for the parents to enjoy gardening as a hobby. The garden was big enough but it was on a steep slope which ran almost to the back of the house making access to the lawn a struggle up narrow steps. The existing beds were choked with overgrown shrubs and weeds and the lawn was exhausted.
With clay subsoil near to the surface re-grading the whole garden would have been an unaffordable option and terracing was rejected by the clients who wanted to retain as large a play area as possible. The chosen solution involved digging back the garden away from the house, installing retaining walls and wide steps and then profiling the remaining area.
As soon as excavations began it became clear that the new profile would cut into the winter water table so the new retaining walls were designed to allow water to collect and drain down from the upper area. Surface gullies and underground pipe-work were added to the design of the new patio.
The remainder of the garden was cleared of grass, shrubs and weeds and the soil improved and raked level across the slope. A seating area with a pergola was constructed in a sunny corner. Raised beds will allow the growing of vegetables with fruit trees trained on wires along the fence.
A paved strip around the lawn not only adds definition to the shape, it allows a wheeled mower to get right up to the edge.
Only structural shrubs and trees were supplied for this project as the clients wanted to finish the garden themselves, filling the beds with herbaceous perennials.
Wide sandstone steps with a gentle gradient make a much more inviting entrance into the garden and lights incorporated into the walls and placed in the beds beside the steppingstone path mean the new layout can be enjoyed day and night.
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Copyright Urban Idyll Ltd 2011