Suburban retreat

Hampton, Middlesex: north facing, overgrown.

A ‘typical Victorian terrace garden’ is how the owner first described this project. She asked for it to be cleared out, retaining and pruning the ornamental plum tree and saving one or two shrubs.

Two, overgrown Euonymus were removed and the roots grubbed out, along with a Thuja, which was going to get much too big in time. A rather nice Mahonia japonica was pruned back and left in place. The old shed almost fell apart on it’s own.

The lawn was rejuvenated and reshaped and a slightly smaller shed purchased. The plum tree flowers profusely in pink and white and there were mature pink rose bushes, so a mix of evergreen and herbaceous plants were chosen to give interest throughout the seasons, using a pink, white and blue palette. Bark chips were laid under the tree and the area planted with ferns that don't mind the deep shade.

A water feature was added to attract wildlife, a 1m wide corten steel bowl, which when filled, reflects the sky and surrounding plants. Its rust colour compliments the patio and the grasses planted nearby.

Untidy concrete slabs were removed and a pretty patio area created using recycled bricks, to provide a pleasant, quiet corner to sit and watch the garden grow. The old bricks compliment the house and the garden’s colour scheme. The area by the side-return was covered with gravel to allow easy access to a drain beneath, a cost effective solution.

We were also asked to build something to hide the large, black plastic bin. The space is too small and the budget was better spent on plants and the patio. The answer was actually to buy a nice bin; cheap and it looks great with a few nicely planted terracotta pots around it.

'Can't wait for the plants to grow and continue to flower. It's looking lovely.' said Helen, another happy client.

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