This lady contacted us for some free garden design advice. She lives on the outskirts of York and has a very complex, sloping garden which is crudely terraced and quite overgrown. Currently only one of the terraces is clear enough for the client to make use of for dining and relaxation. There are steps leading from this terrace to an uneven grasses area, after which there is a steep slope to the bottom of the garden. It is always difficult to redesign gardens with a steep incline, as costs can be preclusive. Often in these circumstances a major part of the client’s budget can be spent on building retaining walls and steps to create terraces and moving soil around. This client indicated that she has a fairly small budget, therefore we advised her to leave the bone structure of the garden as it is and concentrate on improving the aesthetic qualities of the already existing levels .
Currently there is a small area directly ouside the house which is overshadowed by a high retaining wall and flight of steps to the next level of the garden. We have advised the client installs a handrail and barrier. Painting the rendered wall will help lighten the gloomy area and add a dash of colour. We also suggested installing a water blade feature on the retaining wall to give the area a focal point.
The steps lead to the garden’s main terrace. This is full of raised beds leaving quite a small area for dining and entertaining. We suggest a removing some of the raised beds and decreasing the size of others to accomodate a larger table and chairs. Rendering the raised bed walls would help to give the garden a more modern appearance. Replacing the existing gravel floor with contemporary paving, such as slate or limestone, would further help to lift and modernise the garden.
Paved steps lead up to the second area. This area already contains lawn, which can be shaped and conditioned. The bottom of the garden presents the most problems, as is has a very steep incline. The client does not envisage using the bottom of the garden for anything in particular. Her budget is modest, so we advised either keeping the slope as is and installing planting throughout, or constructing three fairly shallow terraces retained by a relatively cheap material, such as railway sleepers. If the budget allows a small patio could be constructed at the very end of the garden to allow the client take in the breathtaking views of the countryside beyond her garden.
If you would like some free garden design device, or have any specific garden or horticulture questions, do feel free to get in touch.