Over the past few weeks we have been building a series of retaining walls and raised planting beds in a sloping garden near Hungerford. Anyone that works outside will appreciate how wet it was over that period, and yes, excavating the ground in such soggy conditions was challenging! Thankfully, an addition to the team in the form of a new digger proved invaluable in dealing with all that mud…
A blank canvas
On Katie’s first visit to our client, she found a blank canvas to work with. As is the case with many new houses, the builder had installed a small patio at the back of the house and laid the rest of the sloping garden to lawn. Katie’s design plan would incorporate and make the most of this slope, by creating retaining walls as a feature in the garden. The walls would provide a practical solution to planting, with a series of raised beds incorporated within the design. The construction of a series of steps would create an accessible route to the upper part of the garden.
Perspective sketch – side-on
The landscaping so far
A before photo of the garden as the team make a start by marking out levels as shown on Katie’s design plan.
The wet weather has arrived making it hard work to excavate the ground levels, slowing progress.
Our new digger is being tested and proving an asset in the muddy conditions.
At last we feel like we are making headway as the brick retaining walls go up, using Marshalite Pitched Face Buff bricks in size 220 x 100 x 65mm. These are an interesting choice compared with the red bricks usually favoured by our clients.
Two sets of wide shallow steps leading to the upper part of the garden are now installed, together with several softwood sleeper planting beds, complementing the creamy tones of the bricks. The steps are topped with porcelain pavers to match those used for the patio.
The patio area along the back of the house has been laid using beautiful porcelain pavers in the Sabbia style, and edged in contrasting rustic charcoal block pavers. On the right boundary a brick wall has been built with a tiered design and interspersed with a raised softwood timber sleeper bed close to the house.
Another view of the porcelain patio showing the contrast between the creamy tones of the slabs against the red brick of the house.
We’re making steady progress now, with the soil in front of the retaining walls being levelled and dug over ready for the new lawn to be laid.
A view down the right hand side of the garden, towards the raised beds.
And finally, looking across the retaining walls and raised beds, with newly laid turf at the top of the garden.
What’s left to do?
A new lawn will be laid this week and the finishing touch will be planting up the beds to the specification of Katie’s planting plan. This will take place towards the end of November just before the colder winter temperatures set in.