Benfleet Garden Design on Levels

Grow a Friendly Space


This Essex garden was a tricky plot over steep levels. A Japanese inspired theme was deployed. A pergola and grouping of specimen plants helped set off the space. Pleached trees to the rear aided privacy.


The multi-level garden of this detached property in Benfleet is tired and in need of renovation. The clients are happy with the framework of the existing levels but would like to make the space more usable. The current retaining walls around the house and on the main terrace are mostly in a good state of repair but aesthetically unappealing, so would benefit from a cosmetic overhaul. However the low raised bed/retaining wall running across the rear of the garden has deteriorated beyond economical repair and will need replacing. The clients would like the new design to include an area of lawn, a pergola and some seating. In particular they are keen for the boundaries to be given a tidier appearance.

The existing paving will be replaced throughout with white porcelain tiles. The right hand side of the main terrace will form the main seating area, and will include a timber pergola over which wisteria can be trained. A small timber shed on the side to the pergola will enable the clients to store gardening tools and outdoor cushions for the seating area. New steps to the upper terrace will be constructed along the left hand side of the space, running parallel with the house. A trio of pots containing specimen plants will be placed in the sight line from the patio doors to create a focal point.

The left-hand boundary will be replaced with a new contemporary hit and miss slatted fence, and tall bamboo will be planted along the right hand boundary.

The upper terrace will be laid with lawn and raised bed/retaining wall along the back boundary removed and rebuilt using new softwood railway sleepers. The existing mature shrubs and foliage along the rear boundary will be removed and replaced with a row of evergreen pleached trees to provide privacy screening from the properties beyond. The garden will be planted with a Japanese theme, using some of the clients existing plants where possible.