Garden design hotline #35:

Buzzing for some bee-keeping ideas

garden design


The clients contacted us for some bee-keeping garden ideas. They lived in Thorpe Bay and had an old garden, that they had grown tired of, and wanted to reorder the space. They kept bees in a hive at the bottom of the garden so they were keen to include plants that were bee friendly. They also really wanted to create an impressive water feature in the space so happy to reduce the size of the lawn to accommodate this.


The bee-keeping garden features a mature willow tree, which the clients wanted to keep in the final design, but also wanted to open up the area towards the back of the garden as they felt it was underused. The existing patio next to the house was to remain the same, and the water feature needed to be refurbished.

Katrina suggested that a small area of paving at the bottom of the steps (there was a level change of about 60 cm) lead round to the structure containing the hot tub. ‘Sunken Paul’ was to greet you as you entered the space, and the stepping stones would allow you to move easily to the pathway leading down the bottom garden.

A water rill ran parallel to the pathway and will feature a stainless steel water plate feeding the sunken pool. The rill will act like a wheel down the space, removing water from the trough.

The patio, covered with a pergola, and housing a garden sofa, provides the ideal place to relax. Featured in this space in the bee-keeping garden, would be a fire pit, allowing for the ultimate night time area. A planting bed to the left, separated this patio from the beehives. It is packed with friendly plants such as Verbena, Salvia, Echinacea and Lavender. Grass would fill the rest of the space allowing for planting around the edges and borders.

The clients went on to commission a garden design package which included a planting plan, lighting plan and 3-D visuals.