What We Did
Our first job was to remove the existing steep sleeper retaining walls and replace them with red brick retaining walls around the front and sides of the house.
The new lower retaining walls help open up the space and connect the patio area with the rest of the garden. This gives our client a much better view of the garden when socialising and using the seating area on the patio.
Our next task was to take up the existing ‘Raj’ Sandstonepaving and replace it with the modern look ‘Duomo Sabbia’ porcelain paving sourced from our main paving supplier, Nigel Belcher (Nigel’s paving selection can be viewed at his showroom in Curridge). We installed channel slot drains along the far edges of the patio which were connected up to the existing soak away to ensure good drainage off the patio after heavy downpours.
We also replaced the existing wall and steep steps up to the front door with a new feature curved brick wall and shallow porcelain steps with brick risers. This adds kerb appeal to the property and links the front and back garden by using the same porcelain paving and bricks.
Why It Works
There are a number of design techniques which we have used to make this design work:
- The quality of the materials make this a striking transformation – the beautiful cream toned porcelain slabs give an instant wow factor in the garden and they complement and give definition to the property’s cream rendered walls. The large rectangular pavers also add to the contemporary feel and are a good update on the previous random shaped sandstone paving.
- The smart red brick retaining walls provide a striking contrast to the paler tones of the patio and the cream walls of the house.
- Installing a series of shallow porcelain topped steps directly opposite the French doors along the back of the house naturally leads you up to the main lawn, and complements the contemporary feel.
- The new lower retaining walls help open up the patio space and connect it with the rest of the garden. There is now a much better view of the garden from the patio.
- Built in seats placed into the front retaining brick walls add a unique feature to the garden as well as extra seating. Smart dark grey composite decking boards have been used for the surface of the seat. It is a more expensive choice than your standard timber decking but has the advantage of being water proof and maintenance free.
The finishing touch to Katie’s design are of course the plants. The team have been busy planting up the extensive beds running along the brick retaining walls and the plant selection will bring the garden to life next spring.
A selection of colour rich plants were chosen to complement the garden’s warm tones and add all year interest. They included: Guem Totally Tangerine, Hebe Red Edge, Achillea Terracotta, Cornus sanguinea Midwinter Fire, Penstemon Firebird, Hylotelephium Sedum Purple Emperor, Heuchera Fire Chief, Salvia Nemorosa Caradonna, Verbena bonariensis, Lavandula angustofolia Munstead.
Photo Credits: Project photos by ALDA Landscapes; Photo by Regina Mansor on Unsplash; “Cornus sanguinea cv. (Winter Border, Driveway – Pershore College) (4)” by je_wyer is licensed under CC BY 2.0; “Breezy Knees Gardens -7” by alh1 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0; Photo by Amber Wolfe on Unsplash; Photo by Timo C. Dinger on Unsplash; Photo by Yoksel 🌿 Zok on Unsplash; “Heucheras in the side yard” by patrick_standish is licensed under CC BY 2.0; “Echter Lavendel (Lavandula angustifolia)” by blumenbiene is licensed under CC BY 2.0