Small Town Garden
Sue and Brian's Small Town Garden
We are delighted with the garden that Sue has designed for us. We set her a very difficult design task because we were about to have a house extension into a small town garden that is shaded by a neighbour’s tree. In addition, we work abroad a lot so needed a garden that does not need constant attention. We had a small lawn that struggled to grow in the shade, so we wanted that to go. We also wanted a garden that provided change, interest and scents throughout the year. So, what could she suggest?
Sue spent a lot time with us exploring and teasing out our likes, dislikes and preferences in terms of plants and shrubs, colours and smells, as well as finding out about our commitment to gardening. As a result, she has designed an amazing garden which is visually beautiful, has gorgeous scents and attracts bees – all of which were important to us. Even at this early stage, it is giving us more pleasure than either of us could have imagined.
I was really pleased to be asked to work on this walled intimate space full of beautiful dappled light. It threw up interesting challenges! Plants that bloom in shade normally flower before the trees above come into leaf so we needed exceptions to the rule that weren’t too vigorous nor competitive. Also, the owners loved sitting in the garden in the few places which catch the sun so I had to ensure they still could. That meant that I had to stop the extension’s new patio from pushing the dining area nearby further into the shade! Like many Victorian houses it has an area of outside space to the side of the kitchen which is often not more than a passage. This one is wide enough to be used as a summer dining area but nevertheless it still felt as if one was just sitting in a passage. It needed its own character to make it a destination. As the garden’s paths are in brick I created a central brick feature to match. This did the job, drawing the eye to the centre of the area and stopping it zooming off into the garden.