One of our recent designs involved creating a back garden design for a client whose recent extension left them with a large bank and no access to the rest of a lovely large garden. This can often be a problem – large banks are left after sloping ground has been levelled to accommodate an extension. These new levels change the space and how it can/will be used, and so they need to be carefully considered and incorporated into a design. All the more so, as they are often the first thing you see when entering the garden.
The client wanted an outdoor space that was multi-functional and worked with the new extension. Most importantly they wanted easy access to the rest of the garden and a solution that was also attractive to look at.
The width of the garden is narrow at the bank due to a new out building, with the garden continuing to slope after the bank. This presented a challenge when it came to the number of steps required and the amount of space needed.
To overcome this, I designed curved steps around a circular platform – a solution that worked with the narrow shape whilst being visually unobtrusive. The steps are now an integral part of the design and visually add wow factor to the garden, rather than being just a necessity.
To visually break up the bank and reduce its imposing feel it was pushed back a fraction. Staggered raised planters were designed around the steps to open up the garden, planting softening the brick walls and drawing the eye beyond. A built-in seat was added where, to work with the existing boundary level, the wall would be highest. This makes use of the high wall, breaks up the brick and gives the patio area a more multi-functional feel.
The overall design linked the rest of the garden back to the house and gave the client a space to enjoy visually and practically.
Although challenging, banks and slopes often mean us designers are inspired to create new solutions to a problem, leading to more visually interesting designs.
Read more on how to cope with sloping gardens.