A Three-Tier Transformation of a Vertical Landscape

The challenge

This project was a landscaping challenge, as our clients, based in East Leake in Nottinghamshire, had a garden that sloped upwards away from the house.

The steep slope made it difficult to navigate around the garden, and as a result, it had become overgrown. Our clients wanted to be able to do more in the garden and were keen to make use of their outdoor space and grow different types of plants.

The concept

To overcome the difficulty of a steep slope, our designer came up with a concept that divided the garden into tiers. This meant our first job was to build some retaining walls.

After clearing all existing paving and walling, we dug concrete foundations for new walling and steps to an approximate depth of 150mm to give maximum strength.

Next, we constructed rock based walling, which we used to form accessible flowerbeds. This also allowed us to maximise the usable space on the second tier. Then we installed low steps to link each of the three levels.

At the back of the third tier, we stripped back the existing scrub and laid bark flowerbeds all the way around to give more planting space where our clients wanted to create a wildflower garden.

Also on the third tier, we built a wooden half seat around one of the trees so you can now sit at the top of the garden and look down over the lower tiers. To the rear of this, we installed a new shed base in place of the current one as our clients wished to increase the size of their shed.

Nearer to the house, we used limestone paving to form a larger patio space along with new pathways. All paving was laid on full mortar beds and grouted using a resin-based eco grout to reduce weeds growing between the joints.

Traditional Tegula bricks were used to edge the main circular seating and paving areas to bring a sense of shape to the garden by highlighting its contours.

As with any paved areas, it’s essential to consider drainage. During the preparation of groundwork, we included a new Aco channel drainage system around the house to capture any surface water running from the paving.

Finally, a low maintenance planting scheme was devised to attract wildlife, create colour and scent and give the garden all-year-round interest.

 The conclusion

This once inaccessible garden was now easy to navigate with its three separate levels joined by steps.

With each tier providing a much more level and even surface, the garden was now easier to navigate than before. Our clients can enjoy gardening on each level thanks to the new beds along the sides and between tiers.

Due to its steep angle, this was a challenging garden to transform – especially as we wanted to make sure it was easy for our clients to maintain. Our clever design turned a neglected space into an attractive yet low maintenance garden with plenty of interesting features.

And when we call back in a year’s time to make a complimentary maintenance visit, we’re sure it will still look stunning.

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