Our clients had taken early retirement and wanted to be able to enjoy their garden. Although they were looking for the ‘wow’ factor, they also asked if we could make the garden design as low maintenance as possible.
The couple owned a semi-detached bungalow in the quiet village of Lutterworth on the outskirts of Leicestershire. The garden was split over two levels, and the lawn was in very poor condition. The uneven terrain of the garden was a concern, as was the existing brickwork, which was unfinished in places.
Firstly, we wanted to even out the two levels to make this garden safer and easier to navigate. We built a retaining wall using a buff shade of decorative walling to create an attractive divide. Now we could work on the landscape in two halves. Behind the wall, we formed curved beds to outline the new lawn.
Nearest to the house we built a large circular feature patio to give our clients plenty of room to socialise or just to sit and relax. We chose Marshalls sand multi flagstones to give the landscape design a contemporary feel. The clean, fresh look of the pale stones gave the garden an instant lift.
We used charcoal rumble sett edgings to define the contours of the lawn and patio areas. The grey stones not only look attractive, they also make mowing easier as they stop the grass from becoming straggly and overgrown. The size of the lawn was significantly reduced, and new turf laid for ease of maintenance. The vibrant green of the new grass looked great against the pale sand flagstones.
On the lower level of the garden, we created a second seating area that could be reached by taking a gentle step down. This time we went for a more informal approach and inset a built-in permanent bench into the corner of the plot. This gave us the opportunity to include a raised bed to the rear of the seat and include a stylish water feature.
Using a steel blade, inset into the brickwork to the side of the wooden seat, we formed a pretty pebble pool, so the water flowed down onto the rocks below. The built-in beds allowed us to indulge in some creative planting, thus turning a simple bench into an interesting and colourful place to sit.
In another corner of the garden, we used charcoal rumble setts to form a base for the new shed we constructed. To one side of the shed we built a raised platform to position a water butt. And into the paving we cut a small bed into which we sank a solid wooden trellis. Our clients could now plant a flowering climber such as clematis or jasmine to shield the shed from view.
As a finishing touch, we used wooden sleepers to fashion a circular raised bed around an established tree.
More sand flagstones were laid to form a pathway leading to the bed and the curved borders we’d cut around the lawn.
Before we started this project, the gentleman of the house said that being retired was ‘like a holiday every day’. That gave us a starting point for our garden design ideas as we wanted to create something relaxing and fun.
Our main focus was to devise a low maintenance design. However, our attention to detail and the elaborate touches we included made this a garden that our clients love to holiday in every day.