Recycling at its best

Kingston, Surrey: north facing, overgrown but with lots of potential.

Anne wanted her late husband’s tired vegetable garden to be given a new lease of life, with room for flowers and vegetables. Noting Anne’s love of wild flowers and her tendency to let plants do their own thing, as well as a need to introduce some structure; we made a garden stuffed with plants for year-round colour, intending to allow them to ramble and self-seed. 

An interesting request that we should make good use of a large amount of beautiful teak from an old packing case, stored in the cellar for many years (not something you come across every day), resulted in us making a deck, a raised vegetable bed and even a seat.

The garden is now open and accessible, with mixed planting and blossom trees, offering height, texture, movement and structural interest throughout the year.

In the words of our client, Anne:

'And now for something completely different...' that’s what I asked for. I had a conventional, uninspiring garden and not a clue how to change it. We discussed ideas and agreed to a completely new layout. For a while it looked like a mini WW1 battlefield, but now I have a garden, packed with plants and something in bloom all year round. I had a stock of old bricks, wood and some favourite plants, which were all cleverly incorporated into the design. The garden is now beginning to look like it’s been there for years. Magic!'

The area was completely cleared and levelled, saving and storing about 30 good plants and sorting bricks for reuse. About one third is now gravel over soil, so plants seed where they want. Small, grassed areas provide colour and contrast. As the plants bulk out, the square edges will soften.